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Naidu condemns Centre's move to invoke OSA in Rafale case

Naidu condemns Centres move to invoke OSA in Rafale case

Amaravati (AP), Mar 7 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday alleged the Modi government was trying to silence the media through "unconstitutional means", condemning the Centre's threat of invoking action under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) against The Hindu newspaper in the Rafale case.

The government Wednesday told the Supreme Court that documents related to the deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry and threatened the newspaper with action for publishing articles based on them.

"Instead of coming clean on alleged irregularities of Rafale deal brought out by The Hindu and Mr N Ram, the Modi govt is trying to silence the press through unconstitutional means by creating a climate of fear. It signals an imminent possibility of the breakdown of democracy," the chief minister tweeted.

"After misguiding SC, misleading the nation, destroying all vital institutions of the country, Modi govt's threat to file cases under Official Secrets Act against The Hindu and Mr N Ram is a serious threat to freedom of speech & expression guaranteed by the Constitution of India," he claimed.

Attorney General K K Venugopal had said before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that those who put documents on the Rafale deal in the public domain are guilty under the act and contempt of court.

Unruffled by the Centre's stand, Hindu publishing group Chairman N Ram had said nobody would get any information from the newspaper on the confidential sources who provided the documents.

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