NEW DELHI: Condemning the police case against a journalist who broke the story on Aadhaar data leaks, the Broadcast Editors Association (BEA) on Sunday demanded an immediate withdrawal of the case.
Rachna Khaira, a journalist with The Tribune, had reported on anonymous sellers allegedly providing access to details of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar holders.
In a statement, the BEA demanded an immediate withdrawal of the First Information Report or FIR against Khaira, who has been charged under various sections of the IPC, including forgery and cheating.
Calling it an attack on free speech, the BEA said, "Such FIRs against journalists exposing systemic flaws is a spiteful kick in the teeth of Indian democracy and the right to free speech and expression," BEA said.
"The FIR against The Tribune's Rachna Khaira must be withdrawn immediately," the BEA demanded.
The statement further added, “The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is rather expected to take media investigations into data leaks positively. With the Supreme Court declaring privacy a fundamental right, measures must be strengthened to protect Aadhaar data. "Shooting the messenger is no solution. It's a toxic trend, which must stop forthwith.”