Furore forces Rajasthan govt to refer controversial bill to select committee

Furore forces Rajasthan govt to refer controversial bill to select committee

After facing severe criticism from all quarters, the Vasundhara Raje government has referred the controversial Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2017, to a select committee.

While making the announcement, Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria said in the Assembly on Tuesday that the 15 member committee will submit its report within 42 days, before the bill lapses.

Kataria will head the committee and members of the Opposition, too, will be included.

The minister also informed the Assembly that the ordinance was issued after the President's sanction.

The move comes after Vasundhara held a late-night meeting on Monday with ministers and senior bureaucrats in the face of widespread criticism over the controversial order in political, social and legal circles.

She called four of her senior ministers and state BJP chief Ashok Parnami to discuss the situation.

Outside the Assembly, Kataria said the committee will look into the provisions of prosecution sanction in 180 days and clause on restrictions over media.

"Clauses pertaining to restrictions over media and prosecution sanction providing 180-days immunity to the officers, and the request for sanction to be automatically granted if no decision is taken within the stipulated period will be taken care of," Kataria confirmed.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore admitted that the clause on restrictions imposed on the media is one of the reasons the bill is being reconsidered.
"The bill will be redrafted as per the recommendations of the select committee," Rathore said.

Journalists Detained

On Tuesday, media persons staged a protest march from Pink City Press Club to Rajasthan Assembly against the ordinance.

Some of the protesting journalists were detained by the police outside the Assembly.

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