Information on Rafale is with enemies

Prelims level : Parliament Mains level : GS - II
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  • The Government of India alleged the newspaper The Hindu for photocopying of sensitive documents on the war capacity of the Rafale combat aircraft.
  • The Government also intend to invoke the official secrets act, 1923 against the Hindu but at the same time its affidavit does not mention the name “The Hindu”.

About Official Secrets Act, 1923:

  • The Official Secrets Act is a British era legislation enacted in 1923 to suppress spying of the British Government.
  • This act clearly states that actions which involve helping an enemy state against India are strongly condemned.
  • It also states that one cannot approach, inspect, or even pass over a prohibited government site or area.
  • Punishments under the act range from three to fourteen years imprisonment.
  • This act is controversial to the modern RTI act, 2005.
  • In the clause 6 of OSA, information from any governmental office is considered official information, hence it can be used to override Right to Information Act, 2005 requests. This has drawn harsh criticism.
  • The Union Home Ministry in 2017 agreed to amend the OSA to make it more transparent and in line with the Right to Information Act, 2005.
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