Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bill to protect whistleblowers in Cabinet today

The bill to protect whistleblowers will come up before the Cabinet on Thursday. Whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about wrongdoing occurring in an organization or body of people. Usually this person would be from that same organization.

The revealed misconduct may be classified in many ways, for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health or safety violations, and corruption.

The bill says that the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) will be the nodal agency to look into all complaints. He will have the powers of a civil court and it will be his responsibility to protect the identity of the witness. Revealing the identity of a whistle blower can invite up to three years in jail and a fine of up to Rs50,000.

The bill also proposes that no court can interfere in the case and can have any powers on the decision of the CVC.

The number of whistleblowers killed this year alone has gone up to eight. The Congress-ruled Maharashtra tops the list with four killings, followed by the BJP-ruled Gujarat with two.


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