Whistleblower bill in Lok Sabha

The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill 2010 seeks to set up a regular mechanism to encourage whistleblowers to expose corruptions by public servants or commission of a criminal offence.

The government moved the Bill just a few weeks after a Right to Information (RTI) activist Amit Jethwa was murdered for exposing illegal mining in Gir Sanctuary in Gujarat allegedly by a ruling BJP MLA and his family. The bill provides for safeguards against victimisation of persons reporting corruption by public servants and punishment for revealing identity of complainants, negligently or with mala fide intention. It also seeks to lay down a procedure to inquire or cause to inquire into disclosures by the whistleblowers.

It seeks to bring within its ambit disclosures about corruptions by employees of the Central or State Government or any corporation established by or under any Central or State Act as well as government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the Central or State Government.

Introducing the bill, Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said that the Government had earlier issued a resolution on April 21, 2004, authorising the Central Vigilance Commission as designated agency to receive written complaints from  whistleblowers. It also provided for the protection to the whistleblowers from harassment and keeping their identity concealed.

“It has been felt that the persons who report the corruption or willful misuse of power or willful misuse of discretion, which causes demonstrable loss to the Government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant need statutory protection as protection given to them by the Resolution of the Government of India would not suffice,” said Chavan.
DH News Service

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