Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Radia Tapes Related News Censored By Google

Indian government has a strange method to deal with corruption. Instead of elimination of corruption, the Indian government tries to eliminate corruption exposing news. This is not new for us as we have been facing censorship at the hands of Google and Indian government for long.

As per the latest alert by the exclusive blog on censorship initiatives of Google and Indian government, Google has once again obliged Indian government by becoming its censorship buddy. Thus, Google continues to censor news in India on behalf of Indian government.

Google has censored the news item titled “Radia Tapes, Ratan Tata’s Privacy, Fundamental Rights and Public Interest” on 05-09-2012. It seems the Indian government has become too fussy about disclosing the source of leaks of Radia tapes. The Supreme Court of India has been asking for long about the source of leak, but Indian government does not care. In the end we would never know who leaked the tapes.

This censorship act has another important aspect attached to it. By censoring the news regarding demands for strengthening and preserving public interest, Indian government is also indirectly trying to manipulate proceeding at the Supreme Court. This is clearly against the rights provided by Indian constitution.

According to Praveen Dalal, leading techno legal expert of Asia and managing partner of ICT law firm Perry4Law, “The Indian Constitutional Scheme is based upon “Balance of Rights” and no right is absolute in nature. In case of conflict between two Fundamental Rights, the Fundamental Right that strengthens and substantiate the Public Interest should prevail”. Hence if there is a conflict between Right to Privacy and Right to Information/know, information can be disclosed in certain circumstances to substantiate and strengthen Public Interest, opines Dalal. 

Thus, the present censorship act is not only violative of our freedom of speech and expression but also our right to information. Similarly, it is also a direct attempt to curb public interest so that corruption related activities remain under cover. We will update all on this issue very soon. We also expect that Supreme Court of India would take note of these negative tactics of Google and Indian government.