Raje’s order to shield officers from investigation challenged in Raj HC
The decision of the Vasundhara Raje government to protect bureaucrats from investigation has come under challenge before the Rajasthan High Court.
The petition challenged the ordinance and sought that it be struck down. The petition has cited several judgments of the Supreme Court including the one passed by the Constitution Bench in 2012. In this verdict the SC had mapped out the Lakshman Rekha and evolved the principle of "postponement of publication", and its bid to balance the rights of freedom of press and fair trial.
The Vasundhara Raje government had 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.
The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on 7 September, also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is obtained.
"No magistrate shall order an investigation nor will any investigation be conducted against a person, who is or was a judge or a magistrate or a public servant," reads the ordinance which provides 180 days immunity to the officers.
If there is no decision on the sanction request post the stipulated time period, it will automatically mean that sanction has been granted.
The ordinance amends the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and also seeks curb on publishing and printing or publicising in any case the name, address, photograph, family details of the public servants. Violating the clause would call for two years imprisonment.