New Delhi: BJP leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in a press conference on Friday told that if Emergency were to be declared in the country today, it shall fail as technology will not allow the press to be censored.
He was addressing a press conference on the National press day where he said: “…if Emergency were ever to be re-imposed, it would collapse for the simple reason that one of the strengths of the Emergency was press censorship and technology doesn’t permit press censorship. You’ll certainly get access to information through various instruments that technology has provided.”
He further added: “one of the greatest challenges… to media in a free society is how does it retain its own credibility so that it continues to become a maker of public opinion”.
And for media, he said, “its credibility will be its own maker” and if it is lost or allowed to be “misused grossly”, then “it can also become its own breaker”.
And indicating to what can happen to free speech, he said: “if a doubt in a mind of a reader or a viewer is created with regards to the integrity of the news or the opinion,” that is the worst thing that can happen to a free speech.
He says he has “never been able to understand the criticism of those who criticise the maximum and one of the points of several criticisms is that we are in danger.”
When asked about SC decision on scrapping of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, he said that he was in a “hopeless minority of one” in disagreeing with the judgment, Indian Express reports.
Section 66A could have been invoked for actions like spreading hate speech or maligning someone’s reputation online and the Supreme Court had the “option to sever” section 66A. it could “quash the unconstitutional and protect the constitutional” but it had scrapped the section, and now “we either enjoy or suffer everyday”.
The Hindu Publishing Group Chairman N Ram was felicitated with the Raja Ram Mohan Roy award one of the most prestigious awards given by PCI annually.