DCNS obtains restraint order against newspaper

DCNS moves New South Wales court to prevent newspaper from releasing more info.

August 30, 2016 01:08 am | Updated October 18, 2016 01:18 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.

French submarine builder DCNS on Monday obtained a temporary restraint order against The Australian newspaper from releasing any more classified documents related to Indian submarines into the public domain.

The temporary order directs newspaper to remove all sensitive data from its website and not to publish any new information. The order expires on Thursday as the Australian Supreme Court is set to hear the case filed by DCNS.

DCNS has argued that publication of the data would cause direct harm to “DCNS and its customer in terms of spread of sensitive and restricted information, image and reputation.”

The newspaper has over the last week released several pages of classified information from among the 22,400 pages it obtained, in redacted form, detailing the stealth and combat capabilities of the Scorpene under construction for the Indian Navy.

Any leak serious: Navy Meanwhile, speaking for the first time on the Scorpene submarine data leak since it came into the public domain, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said that the service was taking the issue very seriously but observed that it was “not a matter of much worry.”

“Any leak of information is viewed very seriously. We have viewed the leak of the Scorpene data very seriously, we have asked DCNS to launch an urgent investigation, we have ourselves set up a high-level committee to investigate this,” he told reporters outside the South Block on Monday.

Cameron Stewart of The Australian who broke the story told The Hindu : “It is a matter for the courts now. But I would note that DCNS, by its actions, appears to have greater concerns about the sensitivity of the leaked documents than does India’s defence minister.” Last week Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had stated that “what is on the website is not of concern to us.”

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