Article 14 of Indian constitution states that ‘Any person in the country should not be discriminated on the basis of religion, caste, gender before the law. There should not be any arbitrary discrimination amongst the citizen or class of citizens.’ Equality before the law is a fundamental right offered by Constitution to every Indian. But the country has experienced many attempts which prove an impediment to this Right.
One of the recent examples of such attempt is Rajasthan Government’s Criminal Law (Rajasthan Amendment), Bill. The bill seeks to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants from getting prosecuted for any action performed on duty without the government’s approval. It also prevents the media from reporting any report on such issue without the nod of government. The ordinance sparked a huge debate and received flak from inside as well as outside the house.
According to the Rajasthan government, the bill is meant to protect the judges and public servants from fake FIRs. But it seems to encourage the corrupt people by protecting them from the charges. The entire ordinance can have an adverse impact notion of press freedom, the notion of equality before the law. Especially when the cases of corruption by politicians are on rising, when citizens seem to be doubtful about the entire judicial process, the government needs to be more transparent to promote the democracy efficiently.
At the same time, considering the immense load, the Indian Judicial System is bearing, it has really become a necessity to reduce the number of fake cases not only on the judges or politicians but also on the common people. But there can be many other ways such as penalizing the person who registers a case with some minimal penalty if the case is proved to be fraudulent.
Thus, if the government’s concern is to reduce the number of fake FIRs and the cases, it should adopt better ways than just preventing the people from registering a case or banning media to report on it. And most importantly it should be Equal for all the citizens. Because Equality has to be a priority.