Government to dilute whistle-blower protection law

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 05, 2015 00:46 IST

The government has decided to dilute the law to protect whistle-blowers as the Whistleblowers Protection Act drafted by the previous UPA regime conferred an absolute right on people to complain about corruption, abuse of power or any other illegal act, according to documents released under the transparency law.

The Lok Sabha had passed the amendment to dilute the Whistleblowers Protection Act during the Budget session on the grounds that it needed to ensure that national security was not compromised.

In the process, however, the bill expanded the restrictions on whistleblowers to the extent that they can only reveal information which can be provided under the Right to Information law.

The amendments ignore the basic principle underlying a whistleblower protection law; to give a person who has knowledge of a wrong doing in a public authority, said Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

Nayak said the proposed amendments would make it impossible for a citizen to blow the whistle, pointing that there were also provisions that barred any probe into a complaint unless the department concerned certified that it did not contain any classified information.

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