Already under criticism from all quarters, the contentious ordinance has also now been criticized by none less than The Editors Guild of India. In a statement, The Editors Guild of India has urged the Rajasthan government to withdraw the ordinance and termed it ‘harmful’. It may be recalled that the ordinance bars the media from reporting on accusations against public servants, judges and magistrates untill formal government sanction is given. The ordinance is a “pernicious instrument” to harass the media, the Guild said in a statement last night. The ordinance promulgated by the state government last month was ostensibly done to protect the judiciary and the bureaucracy against false FIRs. “But in reality it is a pernicious instrument to harass the media, hide wrongful acts by government servants and drastically curb the freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution of India,” it said.
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 bars the media from reporting on such accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is given by the government.
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