Rajasthan bill to shield judges, babus from probe challenged in High Court

A PIL challenging the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which seeks to amend criminal laws to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan from investigation for on-duty action without the state government's prior sanction, was filed in the High Court on Monday.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: Oct 23, 2017, 13:31 PM IST
Rajasthan bill to shield judges, babus from probe challenged in High Court

Jaipur: A PIL challenging the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which seeks to amend criminal laws to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan from investigation for on-duty action without the state government's prior sanction, was filed in the High Court on Monday.

The Vasundhara Raje government today tabled the controversial bill in the Rajasthan Assembly, which also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe was obtained.

The bill was introduced by Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria among uproarious scenes as the main opposition Congress walked out from the assembly. 

Senior BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari also walked out in protest of the bill.

Earlier, the BJP governmnet had brought an ordinance to this effect as the state assembly was not in session in early September.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Law and Justice, PP Chaudhary backed the bill, saying that it was a balanced one and would do justice to everyone.

In the ordinance, namely Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 amendments have mainly been made in Criminal Procedure code, 1973 and Indian Penal Code, 1980. It has certain prohibitory provisions to restrain the courts to order an investigation against a person, who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, in respect of the act done by them during the discharge of their official duties. Besides, no investigation will be conducted by any investigating agency against the persons specified without there being any prosecution 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.

The sanctioning authority will have to take its decision within 180 days from the date of the receipt of proposal. The ordinance also provides that in absence of a decision within the stipulated time period the sanction will be deemed to have been granted.

It is also noted in the ordinance that no one shall print or publish or publicise in any manner the name, address, photographs, family details or any other particulars which may lead to disclosure of identity of a judge or magistrate or a public servant against whom proceedings under this section is pending, until the sanction has been deemed to have been issued.