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Rajasthan assembly session begins on Monday, gag ordinance may be tabled

An ordinance seeking to shield public servants from prosecution for on-duty action without prior sanction is likely to be tabled in the ninth assembly session that begins on Monday.

jaipur Updated: Oct 22, 2017 20:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan News,gag ordinance,assembly session
The assembly will be in session for three-four days.(HT File Photo)

An ordinance seeking to shield public servants from prosecution for on-duty action without prior sanction is likely to be tabled in the ninth assembly session that begins on Monday.

The assembly will be in session for three-four days and may witness uproar as the opposition is all set to raise farmers’ complete loan waiver issue.

Other bills likely to be tabled during the session are Criminal laws (Rajasthan amendment) 2017, Rajasthan legislative assembly members (prevention of disqualification) 2017 and Rajasthan land revenue amendment and validation 2017.

A confrontation between the ruling BJP and the opposition the Congress is expected if the government tables the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 in the house.

The ordinance, brought on September 6 and published in the gazette the next day, bars courts from taking up private complaints against public servants, such as serving and former judges, lawmakers, ministers and officials, without the government’s sanction.

It also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe was obtained.

The Congress on Saturday said the ordinance would institutionalise corruption. “The intent of the government is blatantly clear; they are trying to institutionalise corruption and intimidating anyone who questions government,” said Sachin Pilot, Congress Rajasthan unit president.

“This will be a huge setback to public scrutiny. It is a draconian law and we will oppose it within and outside the assembly.”

The government, however, defended the ordinance. “We have brought the ordinance to shield government servants from unnecessary harassment and false allegations. Sometimes people file false cases to defame public officials and prevent them from doing their work,” parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Rathore said.

The Congress is also opposing the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 bill and likely to raise issues like “deteriorating” law and order, swine flu and dengue deaths.

Around 1,600 questions have already been submitted by MLA related to various departments such as home, power, health, education, food and civil supply, women and child development, water etc.

The ruling and the opposition parties have called their legislature party meet tomorrow on the first day of the session.

Media trial will be curbed, says home minister Kataria

Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria on Sunday supported the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which the government is likely to table on Monday in the state assembly.

Kataria said since many years, Rajasthan was leading in number of cases registered through courts under Section 156(3) of CrPC.

“Of total cases registered, 36% are under 156(3). After probe final report is filed in 70-75% cases. Even the Supreme Court, twice has directed - in 2015 and two months back - police has work load and innocent are getting insulted,” he said.

Kataria said the moment a case was lodged against a government employee, media trial is started - be the person is guilty or innocent.

“There is no exemption under corruption cases - Rajasthan is in top five states to crack down on corruption. In recent times, 818 traps were done, which included three IAS officers, retired secretary,” he said.

The minister, addressing newspersons, said nobody was above the Supreme Court, which too has stated that action under 156(3) should be taken after concrete evidence; affidavit from complainant, which if found wrong then a criminal case against him.

Citing his example, Kataria said, “In Sohrabuddin case, the media trial was started as if, I had killed him. Whereas in reality there was no evidence against me.”

“The move aims to curb misuse of the section 156(3). IT does not aims to safeguard none,” said the minister.

Kataria informed that celebrating the birthday of late Vice Presdient Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, 11 senior MLA and MPs will be feliciated on Monday by Sunder Singh Bhandari Charitable trust. Chief Guest of the event will be chief minister Vasundahra Raje.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 20:35 IST