Ordinances Current Affairs

Rajasthan Government introduces bill prohibiting probes against judges, officers without sanction

Rajasthan Government has introduced The Code of Criminal Procedure (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the state assembly to protect both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in state from being investigated for on-duty action without its prior sanction. The bill replaces Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 promulgated in this regard.

Features of Bill

The Bill prevents courts from taking up private complaints against both serving and former judges, magistrates and public servants in state for on-duty action without its prior sanction. It also bars media from reporting on such matters involving accusations against public servants until sanction to proceed with probe is obtained.

The bill amends Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC), 1973. It curbs publishing and printing or publicising in any case the name, address, photograph, family details of the public servants.

It make additions to sections 156 (3) and 190 (1) of CrPC which empower a magistrate to take cognizance of an offence and order an investigation. It provides 180 days immunity to officers as it has provision mentioning no magistrate can order an investigation nor will any investigation be conducted against person who is or was a judge or a magistrate or a public servant.

Its violation will call for two years imprisonment. If there is no decision on the sanction request post the stipulated time period (180 days), it will automatically mean that sanction has been granted.

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Cabinet approves promulgation of GST (Compensation to States) Ordinance, 2017

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the proposal of Union Finance Ministry to promulgate an ordinance to suitably amend the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017.

The approval will allow GST Council to hike the maximum rate of compensation cess levied from the current cap of 15% to 20%. The ordinance will amend Schedule of Section 8 of the GST (Compensation to a State) Act, 2017.

Key Facts

It will be only an “enabling Ordinance” and the decision to increase the compensation cess will be taken by the GST Council, the apex tax rate setting body under the GST regime. The hike in rate of compensation cess will be levied on SUVs, mid-sized, large and luxury cars. It should be noted that compensation cess is applicable not just to cars but also tobacco and coal. It is used to form corpus for compensating the states which experience tax revenue loss post-GST.

Background

In the new GST regime, cars attract the top tax rate of 28%. On top of this, compensation cess of 1-15% is levied for the creation of the state compensation corpus. The post introduction of GST, the total incidence tax on motor vehicles [GST+ Compensation Cess] has come down vis-a-vis pre-GST total tax incidence, making these SUVs, mid-sized, large and luxury cars cheaper post GST rollout. To rectify the anomaly, the GST Council, comprising of representatives of all states, had recommended that the Central government move legislative amendments required for increasing the cess.

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