PIL in Rajasthan HC against ordinance to protect judges, babus

PIL in Rajasthan HC against ordinance to protect judges, babus
The Rajasthan government's ordinance which bars investigations against serving and former judges, magistrates, and public servants without prior sanction has been challenged in the high court.

Speaking to the media outside the Rajasthan High Court, senior advocate A K Jain confirmed that he has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.

The PIL wants the ordinance to be declared unconstitutional. The petition will be heard on October 27. The Assembly session, which kicked off on Monday, was adjourned amid an uproar by the Opposition Congress when Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria tabled the bill to replace the ordinance.

While the Congress strongly opposed and staged a walkout, senior BJP leader and four-time MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari also opposed the ordinance and walked out of the Assembly twice. Tiwari requested to raise a Point Of Order, which was turned down by the Speaker.

Later the Congress staged a protest outside the Assembly. Leaders who were opposing the ordinance wore a black band on their forearm. "We wanted to go for a protest walk until the Raj Bhavan. But the police detained us midway. However, we reached the governor's residence and handed over a memorandum which demands the withdrawal of the ordinance," Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot told DH.

The Rajasthan Bar Association has decided to observe a "Black Day" on October 24 against tabling of the Bill. The People's Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL), an NGO, is also filing a petition on Tuesday. Kavita Shrivastava, PUCL general secretary, told DH, "We are in the process of filing a PIL."

The ordinance also bars the media from reporting on the allegations without prior sanction. The ordinance amends the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and also seeks to curb publishing and printing or publicising, in any case, the name, address, photograph and personal details of the public servants. Those violating the clause are liable to two years' imprisonment.

The ordinance provides 180-days immunity to the officers, and the request for sanction will be automatically granted if no decision is taken within the stipulated period.

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