Rajasthan ordinance row: Assembly adjourned after Congress protests; Sachin Pilot, others detained

Jaipur: Rajasthan Congress president Sachin Pilot and several party leaders were detained by the police on Monday soon after they took out a march against the state governments criminal laws amendment bill.

After the Rajasthan Assembly session was adjourned for the day, Congress MLAs and leaders assembled at Jyoti Nagar T-point in the city, from where Pilot was to lead a march to the Raj Bhawan to hand over a representation against the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2017. Soon after the march began, the police detained Pilot and other Congress leaders and took them to the Bajaj Nagar police station. The Congress has opposed the bill, tabled in the Assembly on Monday, which seeks to replace the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on 7 September. The ordinance seeks to protect serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in the state from being investigated for on-duty action, without its prior sanction. Pilot said that the party will continue to oppose the Ordinance in state assembly as well outside.

Senior BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari also walked out in protest of the bill. The Congress legislators raised slogans against the government and the bill in the state Assembly.

"We will oppose the bill," said Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Rameshwar Dudi. "This will protect corrupt officials," he added.

Kataria said the government has introduced the bill as it wants the Opposition to discuss it in the Assembly.

It may be mentioned here that the Rajasthan government through an ordinance, namely Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, made amendments to the Criminal Procedure code, 1973, and Indian Penal Code, 1980, in September this year.

The bill has certain prohibitory provisions to restrain the courts to order an investigation against a person, who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, in respect of the act done by them during the discharge of their official duties.

Besides, no investigation will be conducted by any investigating agency against the persons specified without there being any prosecution sanction.

The sanctioning authority will have to take its decision within 180 days from the date of the receipt of proposal. The ordinance also provides that in absence of a decision within the stipulated time period, the sanction will be deemed to have been granted.

It is also noted in the ordinance that no one shall print or publish or publicise in any manner the name, address, photographs, family details or any other particulars which may lead to disclosure of identity of a judge or magistrate or a public servant against whom proceedings under this section is pending until the sanction has been deemed to have been issued.

Whoever contravenes the provisions shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to two years and shall also be liable to fine.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 15:54:54 IST

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