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Union Cabinet Approved Whistleblowers Act

On 10 August 2010 the Union Cabinet of India approved Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosure Bill, 2010, also known as Whistleblowers act to provide protection to Whistleblowers and punishing those who expose identity of Whistleblowers.

Oct 23, 2010 16:37 IST
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On 10 August 2010 the Union Cabinet of India approved Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosure Bill, 2010, also known as Whistleblowers act to provide protection to Whistleblowers and punishing those who expose identity of Whistleblowers.

Under the Whistleblowers act anybody who reveals the identity of Whistleblowers would be punished with 3 years imprisonment or fine up to Rs. 50,000. In case of any information leakage regarding the Whistleblower’s identity the head of the department is to be held liable by (Central Vigilance Commission) CVC. At the same time there is also the provision that if anyone makes a false charge, he would be equally punishable with equal amount of imprisonment and fine.

 Under the Whistleblowers act, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) will have jurisdiction over all the ministries and institutions. CVC’s directives in protecting the identity of Whistleblowers can override any government’s directive. According to the Whistleblowers act, the CVC can seek clarification from any ministry or person who is charged with corruption. If they fail to do so or delay, then CVC has the authority to impose fine on the ministry or person concerned.

CVC’s jurisdiction will be absolute. No other civil court would have jurisdiction over the act where CVC is empowered. Any appeal can be filed only in High Court.
The killing of several Whistleblowers and RTI (Right to Information) activists—for instance, the killing of RTI activist Amit Jethwa— by the anti-social elements of the society was the reason behind that the government of India drafted the Whistleblower act. Because of recent increase in attacks on Whistleblowers and RTI activists it was needed to empower the CVC to protect the lives of Whistleblowers and to deal with corruption.

  • Whistleblower is a term commonly used for a person, who discloses information about the corruption in an organisation. Usually that person belongs to the same organisation.
  • Whistleblowers act also defined the word Corruption in government for the first time. Corruption is defined as willful misuse of power or willful misuse of discretion by which there is a demonstrable loss to government or a demonstrable gain to the public servant using that power. The Prevention of Corruption act, 1988, does not define corruption but puts down various actions which can be constituted as corruption.

 

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