Erasing the stigma of corruption from the politics and administration of India is the main goal of the government, as claimed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but it appears the Rajasthan government headed by Vasundhara Raje is least bothered about this motto.
At a time when the corruption charges are being raised by the main opposition, Congress party, the Rajasthan government has promulgated an ordinance barring the media from disclosing the names of public servants including judges and magistrates under investigation until prior sanction is granted for their prosecution. The ordinance amends The Criminal Code of Procedure 1973 and makes it an offence for any person to print or publish any name, address or any other details that may lead to the disclosure of the identity of a judicial officer or public servant. The ordinance was signed by the Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh last month, but the matter has come to light only now. The question arises whether it was a pressingly important matter on which an ordinance had to be brought about and if so why the matter was kept under the carpet. The bar is restricted to acts done by public servants in the course of discharging their official duties.
These amended provisions are applicable to both serving and retired public servants. Prior sanction is needed even for ordering a probe. The opposition Congress castigated the Chief Minister for these amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act and alleged that the government officials were neck deep in corruption. Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot said the ordinance would create cover for corrupt public servants and encourage others to indulge in wrongdoing.
The Chief Minister defended the move and said it was necessary to protect reputation and regard of the public servants.