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Rajasthan plans to shield public servants from probe: Twitter says move protects the ‘corrupt’

The Vasundhara Raje government has been criticised on Twitter for allegedly protecting public servants from media and public scrutiny.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2017 17:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajasthan Ordinance,Rajasthan,Free speech
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje at Parliament in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/HT File Photo)

The Rajasthan government is under fire for passing an ordinance on Friday that seeks to protect judges, magistrates and public servants from being investigated for on-duty action without sanction.

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

“This is a staggering assault on free speech and expression, not just of the journalists but also citizens, because quite easily even social media would be included in the exhaustive list of platforms with the publication embargo,” read an opinion piece on DailyO.

Reactions poured in on Twitter where many accused the state government of protecting public servants from media and public scrutiny.

If the government’s decision is not notified in 180 days, it will automatically mean that sanction has been granted, media reports said. Violating the clause can attract two-year imprisonment.

Many Twitter users also said the decision protects the “corrupt”, lamenting that the law of the land was only for the law-abiding citizen. Some compared the move to Emergency, during which free speech was curtailed and media censored. A GIF featuring North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un clapping was also circulated.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 17:07 IST