With the increasing attacks on RTI activists, public interest litigants and journalists exposing corruption in public life, two advocates on Thursday moved the SC seeking direction to the government to frame guidelines to protect whistleblowers.
Citing the killings of Indian Oil Corporation officer Manjunath Shanmugham in Uttar Pradesh and additional collector Yashwant Sonawane in Maharashtra by oil mafia, petitioners Ajay Mandyal and N Raja Raman requested the court to frame guidelines pending passage of a law on the issue.
In the last six months there were five-six reported incidents involving security of whistleblowers, they said.
The petitioners specifically mentioned the 2G spectrum, CWG and Adarsh-Kargil scams, the Devas deal and the blackmoney case where whistleblowers, activists and journalists were fighting against corruption in public life. The petition also mentioned the murders of three press staffers in Tamil Nadu allegedly for publishing the outcome of a political opinion poll.
Complaining against activists of a political party against 2G case and Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, the petitioners said: “Such threat to complainants and activists go to defeat the very democratic process…and concept of rule of law which is basic feature of the Constitution.”
“In the background of such serious atmosphere of threat where some of our whistleblowers have carried the flag of civilian activism and suffered loss of life and limb like true martyrs, there is a need for the protection of their rights…” petitioners said, demanding security and “some form of institutional and procedural safeguards from politically motivated violence.”