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Withdraw ordinance protecting public servants: Editors Guild to Raj govt

Letter says the ordinance 'is bent on bludgeoning the messenger'

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Vasundhara Raje
File photo of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje

The recently passed an ordinance protecting both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan from being investigated for on-duty action without prior sanction.

The of India passed a statement against this ordinance and wants it to be withdrawn with immediate effect. 

A letter signed by Raj Chengappa, President, Prakash Dubey, General Secretary and  Kalyani Shankar, Treasurer, stated, "The of India is deeply concerned by the Rajasthan Government’s decision to make the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance 2017 into an Act in the current legislative session. The ordinance promulgated by the State Government last month was ostensibly done to protect the judiciary and the bureaucracy against false FIRs. But in reality it is a pernicious instrument to harass the media, hide wrongful acts by government servants and drastically curb the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of India.  The wants the to immediately withdraw the ordinance and desist from making it into law.

"Rather than taking stern measures to prevent and punish those who indulge in frivolous or false litigation, the has passed an ordinance that is bent on bludgeoning the messenger. While the Guild has always stood for fair, balanced and responsible reporting of FIRs filed in courts of law, it believes that the remedy being employed by the is draconian and gives it untrammelled power to even imprison journalists for reporting matters of public interest. The Guild requests the Chief Minister Smt. to withdraw the harmful ordinance and prevent any Act from being passed that would endanger the freedom of the press."

First Published: Sun, October 22 2017. 21:42 IST