Editors' body condemns FIR against Tribune reporter, demands withdrawal of case


Following the Tribune report, the UIDAI had released a statement confirming that there has been no Aadhaar breach.

The Tribune report, which was widely shared on social media sites, also claimed that the newspaper said it paid another Rs 300, for which the "agent" provided "software" to facilitate the printing of the Aadhaar card after entering the Aadhaar number of any individual.

The authority's statement today said that FIR has been registered in Cyber Cell of Delhi Police for violations under various sections of Aadhaar Act, Indian Penal Code and IT Act.

'The Tribune will explore all legal options to defend its freedom to undertake "serious investigative journalism", the dailys Editor-in-Chief Harish Khare said on Sunday. "We also appreciate if Tribune & its journalist have any constructive suggestion to offer", the tweet said.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)'s lodging of an FIR naming the Tribune in which news about the breach in the system was printed, and also the reporter who had filed the story, drew strong reactions from journalists' bodies, which condemned it as an "attack on the freedom of the press". "Such an atmosphere of fear, violence has been created that dissenting journalists have been put to death, media organisations which dared to speak truth to power have been systematically haunted and targeted", he said.

"UIDAI is committed to the freedom of press".

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While Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad argued that the FIR was "against unknown" persons, the Congress demanded its withdrawal and alleged that the "minister does not seem to have read the FIR or may be his reading of the FIR is extremely selective and he chooses to skip over the names".

It has to be understood that whenever a crime is noticed, the concerned person is required to report in the form of FIR (First Information Report) to police in which the entire details of the crime and the incident have to be disclosed to the police.

"The Aadhaar data, including biometric information, is fully safe and secure", the authority had said in a statement, calling the report in The Tribune "a case of misreporting".

Days after it filed an FIR against a prominent newspaper based out of Chandigarh, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in a statement today said that its act should not be viewed as one targeting media or whistle-blower.

UIDAI would like to reassure everyone that there has absolutely been no breach of Aadhaar biometric database in any manner whatsoever.