ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Ban on Information

Ban on Information A G Noorani "COULD the government deny the press access to all public institutions and prohibit interviews by all government employees? Could it find constitutional footing by expanding the ban to deny access to every- one?" Justice William Douglas's questions were obviously rhetorical. He was emphatically denying the state's right to impose a ban on information by simply asking puhlic servants not to give any information to their masters, the public, through their surrogates, the press. He was well aware of tins possibility though he considered it most unlikely in the United States. The possibility remained; "A state might decide that criticism of its affairs could be reduced by prohibiting all its employees from discussing governmental operations in interviews with the media, leaving criticism of the state to those with the time, energy, ability and inclination to communicate through the mails!' This was said over a decade ago and the proposition seems utterly unexceptionable. But what Justice Douglas thought unlikely in the United States is now becoming common in India. Now is the time to stop this nefarious practice

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