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Aadhaar case: Committed to freedom of press, says govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Amid outrage on the FIR lodged over the reporting of alleged data breach, the today said it has been filed against "unknown" accused while asserting its commitment to the freedom of the press.

A day after the police confirmed registering of an FIR on January 5, based on a compliant by Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI, IT took to to clarify the government's position on the issue.

"The is fully committed to freedom of Press as well as to maintaining security and sanctity of for India's development. FIR is against unknown," he said.

Though the complaint by Unique Identification Authority of (UIDAI) named four persons, including the -based daily The Tribune's who had filed the story on alleged breach in database, Prasad said the FIR was against "unknown".

"I've suggested to request Tribune and its to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders," he said.

After filing the police complaint, the had said in a statement, "This is a case in which even though there was no breach of Aadhaar biometric database, because takes every criminal violation seriously, it is for the act of unauthorised access, criminal proceedings have been initiated."

The move attracted strong criticism from various media organisations, including The Editors Guild of India, which sought withdrawal of the case.

The of The Tribune, Harish Khare, had said in a statement yesterday that "the authorities have misconceived an honest journalistic enterprise and have proceeded to institute criminal proceedings against the whistleblower".

He said the daily would explore "all legal options" open to it to defend its freedom to undertake serious investigative journalism.

The UIDAI had also said that it respects free speech, including the freedom of the press, and its police complaint should not be viewed as "shooting the messenger".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 18:30 IST