Amended Whistleblower’s Protection Act 2014: Features

Amended Whistleblower’s Protection Act 2014: Features

Question - Good governance is focused on the elimination of corruption. Examine the features of the Whistleblower’s Protection Act 2014 which has recently been amended.

• Commonly called as the Whistleblower’s Bill; patent error which led to Act being associated with 2011 rather than 2014 has been corrected through recent amendment

• This Bill seeks to establish a mechanism to register complaints regarding:

- Allegation of corruption
- Wilful misuse of power against a public servant

• Bill also makes safeguards against penalisation of complaint maker

• Bill seeks to protect whistleblowers

• Whistleblowers are persons who carry out public interest disclosure with regard to:

- Corruption
- Misuse of power
- Criminal offence by public servants

• A public servant or another person making such a disclosure (this includes NGOs) can make the disclosure to the Central or State Vigilance Commission

• The identity of the complainant has to be included in every complaint

• Vigilance Commission will not disclose the complainant’s identity except to the HOD if deemed necessary.

• Bill penalises those who reveal the identity of the whistleblower publicly

• Bill also prescribes penalties for issuing false complaints

Nature of Amendments

• Amendments to the Whistleblower’s Protection Act 2014 have kept issues of national security out of its reach

• Amendment to the bill is also done to ensure strengthening of safeguards against disclosures which harm the sovereignty and integrity of the state

• Bill also seeks to protect security, strategic, scientific or economic interest of the state, relations with a foreign state

• Specifically, safeguards have been provided in respect of disclosures exempted under section 8(1) of the RTI Act 2005

Facts and Stats

• Bill strikes a balance between protecting honest officers and bona fide whistleblowers

• Through a government resolution, the CVC has been designated to receive public interest disclosures since the year 2004

• Bill does not define disclosure widely and does not define victimisation. Nations such as the US define disclosure more widely and also provide a definition for victimisation

• Bill does not conform with recommendations of proposed Bill of the Law Commission and the 2nd Administrative Reform Commission’s report

• The Whistleblower’s Protection Bill received Presidential assent on 9th May 2014; it was passed by LS in 2011 and RS in 2014
Post your comment