Rajasthan High Court issues notice to Centre, Rajasthan on pleas against ‘gag’ ordinance

first_imgRajasthan Criminal Law Bill will check motivated complaints: Ravi Shankar Prasad  A Division Bench, headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi, clubbed all the seven petitions for hearing and posted the matter for November 27. The petitioners include Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and AAP leader Poonam Chand Bhandari.Bill introduced to replace ordinanceThe State government has introduced a bill to replace the ordinance in the Assembly and it has been referred a select committee of the House. However, the ordinance still remains in force. All the petitions have sought quashing of the ordinance, contending that it infringes upon the constitutional rights of citizens and will encourage corruption.The petitions include a public interest litigation (PIL) plea moved by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. It has contended that the ordinance violated Article 14 (equality before law) and Article 19 (1) (a) (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution by curtailing the powers of courts to order investigation into complaints made against public servants, judges and magistrates.Arguing in the court, counsels representing the petitioners took exception to the new provision, with the insertion of Section 228-B in the Indian Penal Code, for punishment for disclosure of public servants’ identity until the sanction for investigation and prosecution is given. They contended that it restricted the freedom of media and amounted to violation of the right to free speech. The Rajasthan High Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and the State government on a batch of writ petitions challenging the controversial ordinance that has extended protection to public servants against investigation.The court asked the governments to submit their replies by November 27.The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on September 6, provides immunity to the serving and retired public servants, judges and magistrates from probe and prosecution on the complaints about their alleged offences without prior sanction. It also bars the media from reporting on such accusations till the sanction is given.Also Readlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *