Rajasthan government passes ordinance to shield public servants from probe
Last Updated: February 1, 2018, 12:55 pm
Jaipur: The Rajasthan government has passed an ordinance that will make it difficult for people to register FIRs against government officials in the state without prior permission from the government. The ordinance states that no public servant during the tenure of his or her job is liable for questioning except under the code of criminal procedure 197. It also mentions that no FIR can be lodged against any public servant, nor the police are allowed to file an FIR. People can’t move to the court against any public servant nor can the judge take any decision against any serving or former judges, magistrates and public servants in the state. The ordinance further mentions that at government level the competent authority will have to give the permission of investigation within 180 days. If there is no revert back within 180 days, it will be considered as granted. The ordinance passed by the state government is an amendment of the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and also seeks to curb publishing and printing or publicising, in any case, the name, address, photograph, family details of the public servants. The notification has already been issued. The government is likely to table the bill in the assembly. The decision has been criticised by many people especially the journalism fraternity. Social worker Kavita Srivastava criticised the decision stating that the state is following the black law. According to her, under this ordinance, corruption will prevail and even the media will not be able to do anything. It has also been stated in this new ordinance that the name and identity of any judge, magistrate or public servant cannot be made public until the competent authority of the government does not allow it. This means the Criminal Law Rajasthan Amendment Ordinance 2017 prohibits the media to publish any news story against a public servant until the FIR is registered. Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria has claimed that the government has decided to pass this ordinance to save honest officers. He stated that any honest officer was afraid to work because of the fear that someone would deliberately make a false complaint by trapping him. The state assembly session will start from October 23. The government has stated that since the assembly is not in session, therefore it was important to pass the ordinance. It is expected to be presented for legislation in the assembly session. Congress party has also reacted to the ordinance. Rajasthan Congress President Sachin Pilot said “Absolutely shocked by how the state government is trying to institutionalize corruption”, as quoted by ANI. Violating the ordinance will result in a punishment of two years of imprisonment.
First published: October 22, 2017