Raje makes Babus safe in Rajasthan, journos exposing corruption to face jail?

First Published 22, Oct 2017, 1:47 PM IST
Raje makes Babus safe in Rajasthan journos exposing corruption to face jail
Highlights
  • The Vasundhara Raje govt passed an ordinance seeking protection to both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan
  • According to new rule, they will be barred from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction
  • It also sought to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction was obtained.
  • Violating the clause would call for two years imprisonment, says the ordinance

The Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan had passed an ordinance seeking protection to both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction.

The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on September 7, also sought to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe was obtained.

Violating the clause would call for two years imprisonment.

State president of People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Kavita Srivastava said the amendments and provisos were to "gag the media" and "clipping" the powers of the magistrate to order an investigation, investigate or take cognisance of complaints against public servants including judges and magistrates.

"We will go to the high court against the government's move. The ordinance should be repealed," she said.

"It is alarming that the intention is to prevent at the very threshold any possibility of an investigation being ordered by a magistrate when clinching evidence is prima facie brought before the court," Srivastava said.

Meanwhile, Kataria told reporters in Udaipur that sanction will be deemed granted if there is no decision on the sanction request after the stipulated time period of 180 days.

He said a bill would be introduced in the Assembly session beginning on Monday to replace the ordinance. The ordinance, which provides 180 days immunity to the officers, reads, "No magistrate shall order an investigation nor will any investigation be conducted against a person, who is or was a judge or a magistrate or a public servant."

If there is no decision on the sanction request post the stipulated time period, it will automatically mean that sanction has been granted.

The ordinance amends the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and also seeks curb on publishing and printing or publicising, in any case, the name, address, photograph, family details of the public servants.

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