New Delhi: The Law Ministry is working on a draft to amend the Whistleblowers Protection Act to safeguard disclosures affecting sovereignty and integrity of the country.
The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011 requires some amendments (aimed at safeguarding against disclosures affecting sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the state, etc), before it is brought into force, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.
"A draft note for the Cabinet has been referred to the Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) with a request to provide a draft of the amendment bill in this regard. No time frame can be indicated since the matter involves the legislative process of Parliament," Singh told Lok Sabha in a written reply Wednesday.
The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, which provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of whistleblowers -- a term given to people who expose corruption – got the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee on May 9 last year.
The Whistleblowers Protection bill, 2011 was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 27, 2011 and was transmitted to the Rajya Sabha. Subsequently, it was noticed that some of the provisions in the bill needed a relook with a view to strengthening the safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state, etc., he said.
"Accordingly notices for certain official amendments were given to Rajya Sabha secretariat from time to time. The bill was finally taken up for consideration and passing on February 21, 2014.
"However, as the Bill was taken up on the last day of the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha, the official amendments which had been given notice of, were not moved during consideration and passing of the bill on the said date," said Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha without any amendments (i.e. In the same form as passed by Lok Sabha) on February 21, 2014, he said.