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Civil rights group condemns Vasundhara Raje govt’s gag ordinance, says will move HC

jaipur Updated: Oct 21, 2017 21:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Press Trust of India
Civil rights,Rajasthan News,PUCL

The ordinance promulgated by the Vasundhara Raje government also seeks bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe was obtained.(PTI)

Civil rights group People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Saturday condemned the Rajasthan government’s move to bring an ordinance protecting judges and bureaucrats from probe without its prior sanction and has demanded that it be repealed.

The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on September 7 by Vasundhara Raje government seeks to “protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan” from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction. It also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe was obtained.

PUCL state general secretary Kavita Srivastava said said the import of the ordinance was to silence the media and to prevent the judiciary from exercising its judicial function of setting the criminal law in motion.

“What is the government trying to hide from the public? The PUCL demands that the Government repeal this ordinance. The PUCL will challenge this ordinance in the Rajasthan High Court,” 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.

PUCL national vice president and former Inspector General of Police (jail) Radha Kant Saxena said the Ordinance was a sinister attempt by the government to curb right of speech and expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution and to thwart the citizens’ right to access criminal justice system in cases of complaints against abuse of law by public servants.

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.

Violating the clause would call for two years imprisonment. (WITH PTI)


First Published: Oct 21, 2017 21:09 IST