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Under Fire, CM Vasundhara Raje Withdraws The Controversial Gag Order

File Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express
File Picture Courtesy : The Indian Express

Facing severe criticism from all quarters Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje has finally recalled the controversial ‘Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill-2017’ from the select committee of the Rajasthan assembly.

The Bill had attracted widespread protests from political parties and civil groups, leaving

According to  a report by Times of India, Raje with no support even from her own party MLAs. The controversial Bill’s provisions protect the serving judges, bureaucrats and other public servants from being prosecuted without permission from the state.

The media was also not allowed to report such cases unless allowed by the state. These provisions had sparked national outrage.

The state had also brought an ordinance on September 6, 2017 and presented it before the assembly on October 27, 2017.

Following criticism from all corners, Raje sent the Bill to the select committee for review in the last assembly session. Sources in the ruling party said that the government would have retabled the Bill after revising the provisions on the report of the select committee.

However, the defeat in the recent bypolls along with sharp criticism forced Raje to finally withdraw the Bill in a matter of six months after introducing and defending the Bill. While announcing the recall, a defiant Raje said, “Those opposing it must know that it was never a law and, hence, the question of withdrawing something that does not exist in the first place does not arise. Yet, whatever it is, we withdraw it.”

After the announcement, she was quick to lash out at the Opposition for creating a hullaballoo in the House and elsewhere. She also pointed to the Emergency and said that it was the actual ‘kala kanoon’.

“The Emergency is a dark chapter in the history of India. The party which is responsible for it has never apologized to the nation,” said Raje, who during her speech did not either apologize for the Bill. “We are erasing any doubt over the proposed Bill by officially withdrawing it from the select committee. We have already said that the Bill was not to be passed,” said senior cabinet minister Rajendra Rathore.

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