Recently Rajasthan Government has passed an amendment bill to protect serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants from being investigated for on-duty action, without its prior sanction to a select committee of the Assembly.
According to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje held a meeting of all ministers at night to discuss the Bill and declared that the Home Minister would inform the House of the development. The Home Minister said that prior approval of the President was sought before introducing the ordinance.
Independent MLA Manik Chand Surana raised the point that no approval of the President was attached to the Bill as the opposition MLAs rushed into the well of the House demanding a withdrawal of the Bill.
Home Minister of Rajasthan government Gulab Chand Kataria said the government would consider the suggestions put forward by the members. He then moved a proposal to refer it to the select committee which would include the members of all the parties that will be passed by the assembly and the select committee had been asked to submit a report in February Session.
The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, not only protects government officials from getting accused of corruption but will also put restrictions on the media and if the latter would try to break the rule then it will be punished.
Therefore, the amendment bill is considered to be anti-democratic where media is directly targeted and the same is compared with Indira Gandhi’s imposition of emergency. The move has been severely criticized by the Congress, NPP (National People’s Party) and senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari.