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NAC member seeks better protection for activists

A day after the murder of a MGNREGS activist in Jharkhand, a National Advisory Council member has asked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to allow the council to take up a review of the whistleblowers bill.
Hindustan Times | By Prasad Nichenametla, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2011 11:26 PM IST

A day after the murder of a MGNREGS activist in Jharkhand, a National Advisory Council member has asked UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to allow the council to take up a review of the whistleblowers bill. The bill is presently under the consideration of a parliamentary standing committee.

In the letter, Aruna Roy, convener of a group on transparency in the council headed by Gandhi, said the bill in its present form was "wholly inadequate” as it could not stop the killings of RTI users...".

The appeal comes at a time when the NAC is starting work on a Lok Pal bill.

Roy further wrote, “The victimisation of people using RTI and MGNREGS to question a corrupt system suggests power of these legislations but also points the complicity of local administration by protecting the offenders... we need to provide support and protection for anticorruption efforts by citizens.”

While demanding a CBI probe into the killing of Jharkhand activist Niyamat Ansari, Roy asked for immediate implementation of a strengthened social audit, rules of which have now been sent to the law ministry for vetting by the rural development ministry.

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