Whistleblowers' Protection Bill passed by the Parliament
The Whistleblowers’ Protection Bill has been passed by the Parliament. The legislation would complement the RTI Act in checking corruption in the country. The highlighting points of the Bill are:
· Setting out the procedure to inquire into the disclosures and provides adequate safeguards against victimisation of the whistleblower.
· Providing protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant.
· Creating a mechanism which may encourage people to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including the ministers.
· Laying out the procedure for punishment for false or frivolous complaints.
The Bill has amended the definition of 'disclosure' and includes wilful misuse of power or wilful misuse of discretion which leads to demonstrable loss to the government or demonstrable gain to the public servant or any third party. The definition of competent authority to which a complaint can be made has also been expanded.