Rajasthan to shield public servants from probes

Note4students

Mains Paper 2:  Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: Ordinance.

Mains level: This news lists out the provisions and issues involved with the ordinance promulgated recently by the Rajasthan government. This news can also be related to GS Mains Paper 4.

 


News

Context

  • The government in Rajasthan has promulgated an ordinance providing for prior sanction for investigation against public servants, judges and magistrates for acts done “in discharge of official duties”.
  • Though the ordinance was promulgated last month and published in the official gazette, it came to light on Friday.
  • The State government may initiate a move to convert it into an Act during the Assembly session beginning on October 23.

The Ordinance

  1. The ordinance has virtually shielded public servants from police investigations
  2. It gone a step ahead by restraining the public and the media from disclosing the identity of government officials until the sanction to proceed with the probe is obtained.
  3. The sanctioning authority may take up to six months for taking a decision.
  4. While amending Sections 156 and 190 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the ordinance lays down that if the sanctioning authority does not take a decision within six months, the prosecution sanction would be deemed to have been issued.
  5. Anyone found violating the restriction on printing, publishing or publicising the names, photographs and details of public servants, judges and magistrates for whom the sanction is yet to be granted, will be punished with two years’ imprisonment and fine, according to Section 5 of the ordinance.

The issues with the ordinance

  1. According to the opposition this ordinance will protect criminal and corrupt officials.
  2. It would create a cover for wrongdoing by government officials and encourage others to indulge in corruption.

But the government has reiterated that the new provisions had been made to protect honest public servants acting in good faith.

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