Law to protect whistleblowers on cabinet table
The cabinet will on Thursday consider a proposed law to protect whistleblowers who raise the red flag on corruption without consulting civil right groups. Chetan Chauhan and Manish Tiwari report.delhi Updated: Aug 04, 2010 23:51 IST
The cabinet will on Thursday consider a proposed law to protect whistleblowers who raise the red flag on corruption without consulting civil right groups.
The proposed law - Public Interest Disclosure and Protection for Persons Making Disclosure Bill 2010 - comes in the wake of the murder of Right to Information activist Amit Jethwa in Gujarat who exposed corruption by an MP last month.
RTI activists sought a law to protect whistleblowers after National Highways Authority of India project director Satyendra Kumar Dubey was murdered in Gaya, Bihar. Dubey fought corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral highway project.
In the law, the government has defined public interest disclosure as any information that indicates misuse of public money or authority. The persons providing the information are defined as whistleblowers.
The bill gives sweeping powers to the Central Vigilance Commission to protect whistleblowers from any disciplinary action for exposing corruption in a government department.
"The commission will have the power to advise or stop any government organisation from transferring or initiating any disciplinary action against a whistleblower," a senior government official said.
The CVC will also be required to protect the identity of the information provider, otherwise the whistleblower's family would be able to initiate action against the officials who reveal the identity. The draft law also provides for disciplinary action against those who reveal the identity of the information provider.
The provision has, however, angered RTI activists who believe the CVC has failed to enforce the existing guidelines to protect the whistleblowers. In the past the commission has revealed the identity of the whistleblowers.