The war over the Rajasthan government ordinance to protect bureaucrats and judges from being scrutinised for any on-duty action has heated up on Twitter, so much so that it is one of the top trends on the micro-blogging site.
It all began with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who tweeted reminding Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje that it is 2017 and not 1817.
Madam Chief Minister, with all humility we are in the 21'st century. It's 2017, not 1817. https://t.co/ezPfca2NPS
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) October 22, 2017
However, the Congress vice-president's tweet inadvertently affected his own — Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia. In 1817, Gwalior's Scindia dynasty rulers signed a treaty with the British, through which they became a subsidiary state. Raje is Scindia's aunt and both belong to the Gwalior royal family. Scindia, in fact, is the scion of the family. Other political parties did not spare the Raje government. AAP's in-charge in Rajasthan Kumar Vishwas, an active Twitter user, called Raje a female Kim Jong-un. AAP upporters then flooded Twitter with the hastag #TughlaqiMaharani, which soon became a top trend, the report added.
However, the report noted that despite Raje having an active presence on Twitter, there was no clarification or counter-attack by her social media team.
The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 amends the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and bars the media from naming the public servant till the Rajasthan government allows the case to be investigated.
Ahead of Monday session of the Rajasthan Assembly, when it is expected that the ordinance will take shape of an Act, Gulab Chand Kataria defended the government over the decision.
Kataria told a press conference there was no provision in the ordinance which will weaken action against corrupt officers.
Kataria said the only one aim of the ordinance is that people do not "misuse" section 156(3) to tarnish the image of honest officers by levelling baseless allegations. Kataria said that media trial affects the morale of public servants, and added,"From 2013 to 2017, 73 percent people who were probed under section 156 (3) faced mental harassment although they were not guilty."
While defending the law, Kataria remarked that he too had faced media trail after his name cropped up during the investigation into the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
“What happened with me in Sohrabuddin case; I was named in the case and all of country’s media surrounded me, as if I had killed Sohrabuddin. But what eventually came out was that there was no evidence (against me). But the kind of media trial I faced, and I faced the courts too," The Indian Express quoted Kataria as saying.
Meanwhile, the Editors Guild of India on Sunday expressed concern over the bill, claiming that the law will be a pernicious instrument to harass the media. The organisation also added that the law will be 'draconian" and potentially also imprison journalists for reporting on matters of public interest.
The main Opposition Congress decided to protest against the Raje government by wearing black bands inside the Assembly when the bill is expected to be tabled. Outside the Vidhan Sabha, the party held a protest led by Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, TV reports said.
Jaipur: Congress leaders hold protest outside state assembly against Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance. pic.twitter.com/R6kdX82Bon
— ANI (@ANI) October 23, 2017
Senior advocate AK Jain filed a petition in the Rajasthan High Court, questioning the legality of the ordinance promulgated by the state government. NDTV quoted him as saying that the bill will be a license for criminals.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 12:05:36 IST