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Sachin Pilot moves HC against controversial Rajasthan ordinance

IANS | Jaipur |

Congress Rajasthan unit President Sachin Pilot on Thursday moved the High Court against the Vasundhara Raje government’s controversial ordinance promulgated to protect public servants against a probe into on-duty actions without prior sanction.

The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, was promulgated in early September.

Pilot said he had mentioned in his court petition that the said ordinance was violation of Articles 14 and 19 of the Indian Constitution, which deal with equality before law as well as right to freedom of speech respectively.

The Congress leader said that though the bill on the matter has since been referred to a Select Committee of the Rajasthan assembly, the ordinance remained in force. “We want the ordinance to be revoked,” Pilot said.

As per the rules, though the bill may have gone to the house Select Committee, the ordinance remains in force for six weeks till December 5.

On Wednesday, Pilot tweeted: “This draconian gag ordinance needs to be scrapped. Sending it for reconsideration is just not enough.”

He also told the media that there was no place for a law offering legal protection to the corrupt.

On Monday, ignoring criticism from various quarters, the Bharatiya Janata Party government had tabled the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill in the Rajasthan Assembly. On Tuesday, it was referred to the Select Committee.

The bill seeks to protect serving and former judges, magistrates, and public servants in the state from probe for on-duty actions in the absence of prior government sanction.

It also bars the media from reporting such accusations till sanction to proceed with the probe is given by the government.

The state government, through Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, made amendments in the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973 and the Indian Penal Code of 1980 in September.

Another writ petition against the ordinance was filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.