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Scorpene data leak: Temporary injunction on further publication by Aus paper

india Updated: Aug 29, 2016 23:06 IST

Highlight Story

Employees stand in front of the Indian Navy's first Scorpene submarine before being undocked from Mazagon Docks Ltd, a naval vessel ship-building yard, in Mumbai April 6, 2015. (Reuters File Photo )

An Australian court on Monday granted temporary injunction against further publication of leaked Scorpene submarine data by ‘The Australian’ newspaper on an application moved by French defence firm DCNS that has been rocked by the document leak scandal.

The newspaper, which said the temporary injunction was granted by the court, had earlier said that it will publish the documents regarding the weapons system of the submarine on Monday but had not done so.

“DCNS, through the application filed, has demanded The Australian to remove the documents which it has published on its website and prevent further publishing of other documents,” the company’s headquarters in Paris said in a statement earlier in the day.

The Australian reported the leak on its website , and French defence firm DCNS approached the Supreme Court in Australia to stop the newspaper from publishing the leaked documents. India has asked France and DCNS to probe the leak.

The firm’s lawyer had on Sunday told the newspaper that the publication of this “highly valuable document” causes a direct harm to DCNS and its customer in terms of spread of sensitive and restricted information, image and reputation.

Earlier on Monday, the Indian navy chief said that the leak is being viewed “very seriously” but it is “not a matter of much worry”,

“Any leak of information is viewed very seriously. We have viewed the leak of Scorpene data very seriously and we have asked (French firm) DCNS to launch an urgent investigation into this,” navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said in New Delhi in his first comments after the data detailing the vessel’s capabilities became public.

The government and the Indian Navy have maintained the leaked data will not compromise the boat’s stealth capabilities. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar said last week that the information did not contain data on the weapon systems.

Over 22,000 pages of top secret data on the capabilities of six highly advanced submarines being built for the Indian Navy in Mumbai in collaboration with the French company, have been leaked.

The French public prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation into the data leak, with DCNS filing a complaint of breach of trust.