New Rajasthan govt Ordinance seeks to protect judges, babus from probe

Jaipur
21 Oct 2017

The Rajasthan government has passed an Ordinance which seeks to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in the state from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on September 7, also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is obtained.

"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," reads the Ordinance which provides 180 days immunity to the officers. 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. Violating the clause would call for two years imprisonment. Civil rights group PUCL today condemned the Rajasthan government's Ordinance and has demanded that it be repealed.

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 tomorrow against the government's move. The ordinance should be repealed," she said.