New rules to prevent information leak may stifle free speech: Former intelligence officers

Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  Retired officers who had worked in intelligence and security-related organisations reacted to the Centre’s new rule to prevent the leakage of sensitive information with cautious optimism. The amended pension rules that the Centre notified on May 31 prohibit officials retired from certain intelligence and security establishments from writing anything about their organisation without prior permission.

Some officers that the New Indian Express reached out to, said the provisions had already existed to punish retired security officers who share sensitive details in their writings, which could jeopardise national security.  They say the amended rules were unnecessary and may stifle their right to free speech. 

“This rule comes with a threat of stopping pension. As a retired person, I would have given a dispassionate view on, say the April 4 attack by the Naxals on our forces. But now, with these rules in place, I will not be able to say anything because it will seem like a criticism of the security policy,” AK Sood, deputy chief of BSF said. 

OP Singh, former chief of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), said the new rules seem to be aimed at “retired officials who have written their memoirs and gone into greater details about the security of the country”. “This amendment may deprive the younger generation of officers who learn a lot from the writings of the retired officers,” said Singh.