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Bill in Rajya Sabha to protect whistleblowers

August 14, 2012 17:46 IST
A bill for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers, was moved in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The whistleblowers' Protection Bill, 2011, already approved by the Lok Sabha, was moved by Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayansamy with a small amendment under which matters impacting national security, sovereignty and integrity of the country have been kept out of the ambit of the bill.

Narayansamy said matters related to corruption and human rights violations in the defence forces and intelligence agencies will also be covered by the bill. The Special Protection Group has been exempted from the Bill in view of the sensitive security matters.

He said the Bill aims to provide security to whistleblowers, a number of whom including Satyendra Dubey have been harassed.

The minister said the bill also provides for punishment for disclosing the identity of the whistle blower.

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 the measure sets out 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.

Narayansamy said as per the provisions of the Bill, before closing any complaint of corruption, the competent authority will have to discuss the matter with the complainant.

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