After various expose by media outlets in the Rafale jet deal matter, the government claimed that some documents were ‘stolen’ from the Ministry of Defence and now senior journalist N Ram has said, he will not ‘reveal the sources.’
The chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group, who had authored the report, has stated “what we published is perfectly justified (and) in public interest.”
In a categorical statement, N Ram denied stealing any document and said, “We have not stolen the documents rather “it came from confidential sources.”
Rafale documents: we are committed to protecting our sources, says N. Ram - The Hindu https://t.co/4iZQ2RfYNk— N. Ram (@nramind) March 6, 2019
In the news report published by The Hindu, it said, “A big increase in Rafale's price came because the deal bypassed mandated procedures. The French side took advantage of parallel parleys by the PMO that weakened Indian team’s position. The govt overruled Financial Advisers’ recommendation for an escrow account, and the deal was not on better terms than the UPA-era offer.”
“We are fully protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, and also under the Right to Information Act —- specifically 8(1)(i) and 8(2) overrides the Official Secrets Act,” said N Ram, who was instrumental in exposing the Bofors scandal during Rajiv Gandhi’s era.
Giving example from the past, N Ram further mentioned that 'the situation could bring back the shadow of Watergate scandal in the US, which led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon’s government after The New York Times and The Washington Post published the secret documents as the US Constitution, in its first amendment had added the Right to Press.'