Senior BJP leaders and sitting MLAs Ghanshyam Tiwari, Narpat Singh Rajvi on Monday joined Congress in opposing Rajasthan government’s “gag law” to protect ministers, lawmakers and government officials from being investigated without its prior sanction.
“This is a ‘kala kanoon’ (black law) and I am against it, this is against the principles of the party. We did not fight against the Emergency to have a BJP government bring such a law,” Tiwari said.
Congress has launched a black band protest led by the leader of the Opposition Rameshwar Dudi and Sachin Pilot outside the state assembly against the “gag law”.
“The government’s move to bring the ordinance and now a bill clearly shows that it has no respect for democracy and is working against the principles of democracy,” Dudi told reporters.
Earlier, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi taking a dig at CM Vasundhara Raje had said, "Madam Chief Minister, with all humility we are in the 21'st century. It's 2017, not 1817."
BJP has defended the move and said the reason Vasundhara Raje govt brought this law was “people filing false cases against public servants.”
The Rajasthan government had last month promulgated the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, that seeks to protect serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in the state from being investigated for on-duty action, without its prior sanction.
It also bars the media from reporting on such accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is given by the government.
The Editors Guild said the law “gives untrammelled power to even imprison journalists” and “endangers freedom of the press”.