Jaipur: The Rajasthan government will on Monday table a controversial bill in the Assembly that seeks to shield serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants from being investigated for on-duty actions without prior sanction.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill will be introduced by state Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria to replace an ordinance passed by the government on September 7.
The ordinance had also sought to bar the media from reporting on accusations against the judges and bureaucrats 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," read the ordinance which provided 180-day immunity to the judges and 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 Congress, which has hit out at the ruling BJP over the controversial ordinance, will register its protest with black arm bands both inside and outside the Assembly.
Earlier on Sunday, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the controversial ordinance, saying the current year is "2017, not 1817".
Defending the ordinance, Gulab Chand Kataria had said on Saturday that the move was aimed at protecting officials from “false allegations”. “People keep making false allegations against public servants. Even if it is a completely baseless allegation, the harm would have been done. Therefore, we have placed some restrictions, but if the truth in the claims can be verified after a limited period of 180 days, which is stipulated in the Bill, action would be taken," he said.
Opposition to the bill has also come from within the BJP with party leader Ghanshyam Tiwari saying it is "aimed to strangulate democracy" in the state.
The rebel BJP leader wrote to Kataria, saying he should see his letter as a form of political protest and urged him to reconsider the decision.
"The bill that you will introduce in the Assembly in next few days will pave the way to form a law, which will shield the open loot of the chief minister, ministers and public servants," Tiwari wrote in the letter.
He said it will be a "dark day for democracy" when the bill will be introduced in the Rajasthan Assembly.
"As the bill is related to your department, I request you to reconsider it in the Cabinet. If it is introduced in the assembly, I will protest against the bill, which is aimed to strangulate democracy in Rajasthan," he added.