Raje govt refers controversial

bill to select committee

Jaipur, October 24- Amid protest by the Opposition and BSP in the Rajasthan Assembly, the Raje government on Tuesday sent the controversial ‘gag’ bill on amendment of the CrPC which it had tabled in the House on Monday to a select committee for review and reference till the next session of the House.
As the House resumed on the second day for Question Hour, opposition members raised the issue demanding withdrawal of the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, and rushed to the Well of the House shouting slogans and traded charges with the treasury benches.
Home Minister GC Kataria told the House that the state government had taken the permission of the President while issuing the ordinance on September 7. Comparing the Maharashtra government’s bill with Rajasthan’s ordinance/bill, Kataria said the provision of 180 days against Maharashtra’s 80 days, and restriction on the media for coverage of a case before 180 days would be reviewed.
Kataria’s motion to refer the Bill to the select committee was passed by a voice vote, Speaker Kailash Meghwal said.
Rebel BJP MLA GS Tiwari said, “Pahle thuka kyon, phir chata kyon (why did you spit first, then licked it).”
As the Raje government went on the backfoot with Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje not present in the House, the Congress picked up farmers’ crop loan waiver demand and did not allow the Speaker to run Question Hour. The House was adjourned for an hour.
On Monday night, Raje had called a special meeting and summoned six of her cabinet ministers asking them to review the bill’s provisions.
Earlier, hundreds of mediapersons held a protest march wearing black bands against the bill which they called a “black law” that deprived right of expression and freedom to right.
Meanwhile, PCC president Sachin Pilot said it was a victory of the Congress that compelled the state BJP government to check the passage of the “gag bill”, and it is now a face-saving exercise for the government.
On September 6 and 7, the Rajasthan government had issued a gazette notification of an ordinance approved by the Governor for amending the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and IPC, in its application to the state.
By bringing Amendment in Section 156, Central Act No 2 of 1974, a provision has been made that, under the aforesaid sub-section, “No magistrate shall order an investigation to conduct against any person, who is or was a judge, or a magistrate or public servant, as defined under any other law for the time being in force, in respect of the act done by them while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of their official duties, except with the provision sanctions: 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (Act No 2 of 1974) or under any other law for the time being in force.”



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