Legislation to protect whistleblowers in LS
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Last Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2010, 15:57
New Delhi: A landmark legislation to protect whistleblowers who report corruption and provide for severe punishment to those who expose their identity or try to victimise such people was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 also provides for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants to cause "demonstrable losses" to the government.

The bill, introduced by Minister of State for Personnel Prithviraj Chavan, brings under its ambit employees of central and state governments, public sector firms, local authorities and societies among others.

According to its Statement of Objects and Reasons, the bill seeks to provide "adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant."

While it sets the procedure to inquire into the disclosures and provides adequate safeguards against victimisation of the whistleblower, it also seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints.

The bill provides for punishment for revealing the identity, either negligently or with malafide intention, of the person who reports matters regarding corruption by a public servant.

The legislation was necessitated as it was felt that there were impediments in eliminating corruption in government due to "lack of adequate protection" to complainants, the statement said.

Government had earlier empowered the Central Vigilance Commission, through a resolution, to hand down harsh penalty to people revealing the identity of whistleblowers.

But it was felt that a standalone legislation was needed to protect the whistleblowers as the resolution empowering the CVC did "not suffice", the statement said.


First Published: Thursday, August 26, 2010, 15:57

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