Shielding of Babus: Rajasthan Patrika to boycott government coverage

JAIPUR: Rajasthan Patrika, a leading Hindi daily on Wednesday decided to boycott the Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia until she revokes controversial Criminal Laws Ordinance.

Terming it as “kaala kanoon” (a black law), Rajasthan Patrika, headquartered in Jaipur, announced that the newspaper would not cover any news on Ms. Raje or activities related to her until she repeals the law.

In a scathing front-page editorial, Editor-in-Chief Gulab Kothari said: “Accepting the advice of our editorial board, the board of directors have decided that till the chief minister Vasundhara Raje doesn’t take back this black law, Rajasthan Patrika will not publish her and the related news. This a question of democracy, of expression, of the people’s opinion of pride.”

On Wednesday, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was among firsts who appreciated the step taken by Rajasthan Patrika, tweeting: “V rare journalism. Needs immense courage in today’s times.”

In a shocking development, the Vasundhara Raje government last month, has passed an ordinance which seeks to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in Rajasthan from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction.

The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, promulgated on September 7, also seeks to bar the media from reporting on accusations till the sanction to proceed with the probe is obtained.

“No magistrate shall order an investigation nor will any investigation be conducted against a person, who is or was a judge or a magistrate or a public servant,” reads the ordinance which provides 180 days immunity to the officers.