Skip to main content

Why Rajasthan Raj Bhawan uploaded Karva Chauth greeting, not "sinister" anti-media Ordinance on its site?: PUCL

Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje
By Our Representative
In an interesting revelation, one-and-a-half months after it was promulgated, the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, has not been put up for public view on the website of the state's Home or the Law Department. Worse, even the Rajasthan Raj Bhawan (Governor’s) website, last updated on the September 11, has not listed the ordinance in its list of Acts and Ordinances.
Noting this, the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), calling the Ordinance an effort to "silence the media and to prevent the judiciary from exercising its judicial function of setting the criminal law in motion", says, "Interestingly the Governor’s website has more than 24 press notes on its website after September 6, the date when the ordinance was promulgated, including greetings for Karva Chauth to the people of the state."
A PUCL statement -- signed by Prem Krishan Sharma, senior advocate and former president PUCL, Rajasthan; Radha Kant Saxena (retired IG prisons, vice-president National PUCL; and Kavita Srivastava, president, PUCL, Rajasthan -- says that even the press note on the Ordinance has not been put up on any website, which shows that "the intent was to suppress the information from the public, leave alone holding pre-legislative consultation."
Promulgated on September 6, and published on September 7, in the official gazette, PUCL says, the ordinance is a "sinister attempt of the Government of Rajasthan to abridge the fundamental right of speech and expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution and to thwart the citizens right to access criminal justice system in cases of complaints against abuse of law by public servants."
Pointing out that this is done by introducing "two provisos to Sec. 156 (3) and Sec. 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and by inserting a new offence in the Indian Penal Code by way of introducing a new clause, Sec. 228-B,", PUCL says, the ordinance makes an offence termed "disclosure of identity of certain public servants", including judges and magistrates.
"The true intention is to place a ban on a judicial magistrate before whom a complaint of having committed offences is made against any public servant, from either ordering the police to investigate the complaint or, worse, from any investigation being conducted against the public servant while acting or purporting to act during discharge of the official duties", unless sanctioned by the government, PUCL says.
It adds, "The amendment brought about to sec. 190 (1) of the CrPC directing that 'no magistrate shall order investigation nor will any investigation be conducted' is a meaningless" as "the existing provision in sec. 197 already provides protection to public servants by making it mandatory for a court to take cognisance of an offence against public servant only after getting prior sanction of the government."
However, it adds, "The ominous intent in the amendment becomes clear when we notice that while sec. 197 uses the term 'cognisance' the new amendment refers to the word 'investigate'. The true and alarming intention therefore is to prevent at the very threshold, any possibility of 'investigation' being ordered by a Magistrate when clinching evidence is prima facie brought before the court."
Says PUCL, "The sinister purpose in the new amendment is exposed when we consider a new proviso, stating 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 the identity of such public servants' until such time that the state government has given sanction to prosecute."
Pointing out that the ordinance introduces "a new offence, sec. 228-B of the Indian Penal Code, making it a criminal offence on the part of anyone who discloses identity of certain public servants and provides for two years imprisonment and fine, if convicted", PUCL says, "The menacing import is very clear: to silence the media and to prevent the judiciary from exercising its judicial function of setting the criminal law in motion."

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.