Law to shield public servants from probe

Law to shield public servants from probe

The BJP government in Rajasthan has passed an ordinance, which 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.

In an ordinance issued on September 7, the Raje government in Rajasthan had restricted courts from taking up private complaints against public servants, including lawmakers, ministers and officials without the government's prior sanction.

The ordinance will state it as a crime for the media to name the accused till the state government agrees that the public servant concerned can be investigated.

The ordinance is expected to come up for the approval of the state Assembly on Monday. The bill is likely to be passed in the Assembly since the ruling BJP has 165 seats out of 200 seats.

The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is obtained.

The government will get six months to decide if an allegation against a public servant is worth probing, the new order reads.

If the state government does not get back to the court with its approval within six months, it will be deemed to have given its sanction.

The ordinance amends the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and also seeks curbs on publishing and printing or publicising in any case the name, address, photograph and family details of the public servants.

The ordinance mentions that if somebody is found violating the clause, he/she will be given two years of imprisonment.

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