New Delhi: Whistleblowers who fear threat to life or harassment can seek security from the government.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has authorised Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs), who act as distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission, to take a decision on providing security to whistleblowers.
"If CVOs in the ministries or department, either on the application of the complainant or on the basis of the information gathered, are of the opinion that either the complainant or the witnesses need protection, they shall take up the matter with the Central Vigilance Commission for issuing appropriate directions to the authorities concerned," DOPT said in an order.
DoPT has issued a detailed procedure for handling of complaints under Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers (PIDPI) Resolution to be followed by the Chief Vigilance Officers of central government ministries and departments.
CVOs have been authorized as the designated authority to receive written complaint or disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office by or under any central Act, government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the central government and falling under the jurisdiction of that ministry or the department.
As per the guidelines, people need to give a certificate that they have not made "similar/identical allegation of corruption/misuse of office to any other authorities to qualify as a whistleblower complainant".
President Pranab Mukherjee had last month given assent to the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, which provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of whistleblowers--a term given to people who expose corruption.
The Act provides for a system to encourage people to disclose information about corruption or willful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers.