Maharashtra Home Minister asks for action against Arnab in leaked chat case
On Tuesday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that legal opinion on the possibility of action is being taken by the state government against the Editor-in-chief of the Republic Channel Arnab Goswami.
He was alleged for leaking the information about Pulwama attack and Balakot strike that happened 2 years ago. He is booked under the Official Secrets Act 1923. The minister said that the Centre should take cognisance of the chats as they are directly related to national security.
Sachin Awant, Maharashtra`s congress general secretary and Deshmukh met in a delegation and demanded action in the case. The delegation said that the state government has the right to initiate action.
Deshmukh said, “We have taken serious note of the 500 pages of leaked WhatsApp messages between Republic channel’s Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) chief Partho Dasgupta. In the messages, Arnab speaks about the Balakot airstrike two days before it actually happened on February 23, 2019. It’s a serious threat to national security if such sensitive information was leaked to the media house. The Centre should initiate strict action into it. On the state level, we are checking if Maharashtra Police can initiate action. I am speaking to senior police officers and have sought legal opinion if action can be initiated under section 5 of the Official Secrets Act 1923.”
Pointing out another alleged violation by Republic channel, Deshmukh said, “There should have been an agreement in place between Doordarshan and Republic if the latter used the platform owned by the former. Without any such agreement, the Republic used Doordarshan’s DTH platform. A formal complaint was made to the Central government, but no action was taken,” he said.
Sawant said that the state government can initiate action in both cases. “We have demanded action by the economic offences wing of Mumbai Police in the alleged DTH platform use case as the Republic operates from Mumbai. Secondly, the state has the right to take action under the Official Secrets Act and there is a precedent of a Delhi case. A journalist was booked by Delhi Police in a similar action. The home minister has assured us action in both the cases,” he said.