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Drawing flak over a controversial ordinance protecting judges and bureaucrats from probe without prior sanction, the Vasundhara Raje government on Sunday said it maintains a zero tolerance policy towards corruption.
Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria told a press conference there was no provision in the ordinance which will weaken action against corrupt officers. "The government maintains a zero tolerance policy towards corruption," he said. The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 amends the Criminal Code of Procedure, 1973 and also bars the media from naming the public servant till the Rajasthan government allows the case to be investigated. Kataria said Rajasthan is not the only state to amend CrPC sections 156(3) and 190(1). The sections empower a magistrate to take cognizance of an offence and order an investigation. "Maharashtra had amended the sections on December 23, 2015," he said. He 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. From 2013 to 2017, 73 per cent people who were probed under section 156 (3) faced mental harassment although they were not guilty. It does not mean that cases will not be registered against erring public servants through courts. The sanctioning authority will have to ensure within 180 days whether a case has to be registered, he said. If the allegations are found to be true, then a case will be registered and action will be taken, Kataria said. The ninth session of the Rajasthan Assembly commencing tomorrow is likely to be a stormy one with the opposition Congress planning to corner the government over the ordinance. The session will begin at 11 am.