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Petition filed against Rajasthan ordinance on criminal laws

Jaipur, Oct 23 (IANS) A Jaipur-based activist on Monday filed a writ petition in the Rajasthan High Court against the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, for being ultra vires of the Constitution of India.

"The petitioner, Bhagwat Gour, in his petition has noted that the ordinance is violative of Article 14, 19 and Article 21 of the Constitution of India and is further arbitrary and malafide," advocate for the petitioner A.K. Jain said.

Article 14 of the Constitution provides for equality before law, while Article 19 deals with protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc. and Article 21 provides for protection of life and personal liberty.

"The operation of ordinance is prejudicial to the exercise of fundamental rights of the petitioner and takes away or abridges the fundamental rights of the petitioner of fair investigation as well as equality. Fair investigation is a part of fundamental right to life," the petitioner said in the petition.

The hearing is slated on October 27.

In the morning, the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government tabled the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill in the Rajasthan Assembly.

The bill was introduced by Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria among uproarious scenes as the main opposition Congress walked out from the assembly.

Senior BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari also walked out in protest against the bill.

In September the Rajasthan government through an ordinance, Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, made amendments in the Criminal Procedure code, 1973 and Indian Penal Code, 1980, in order to restrain the courts from ordering an investigation against a person, who is or was a judge or magistrate or a public servant, for any act done by them during discharge of their official duties.

Besides, no investigation can be conducted by any probe 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 the sanction will be deemed to have been granted.

The ordinance also states 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 are pending, until the sanction has been deemed to have been issued. Any contravention of the provisions shall be punished with imprisonment upto two years and also fine.

--IANS

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