With issues related to security, sovereignty, integrity out of its ambit

The government on Tuesday moved The Whistleblowers Protection Bill, 2011, which the Lok Sabha has already passed, in the Rajya Sabha with an amendment that seeks to keep issues relating to national security, sovereignty and integrity out of its ambit while seeking to protect public servants exposing corruption.

The discussion on the bill moved by Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy remained inconclusive with the House being adjourned in the wake of the demise of Union Minister of Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Once passed by the Rajya Sabha, the Bill will be referred back to the Lok Sabha for considering the amendment.

SPG too not covered

The Special Protection Group has also been kept out of the purview of the Bill, though those raising issues of corruption and violation of human rights in the Defence Ministry and intelligence agencies will be protected under the proposed law.

Those disclosing the names of the whistleblower will be punished and the competent authority cannot drop a complaint without giving a personal hearing to the whistleblower.

Dubey murder sequel

Mr. Narayanasamy underlined the need for the bill in the light of the murder of National Highways Authority of India engineer Satyendra Dubey in Bihar for disclosing the corruption in the construction of the Golden Quadrilateral and several other public servants in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other States, besides killings of Right to Information activists.

While supporting the Bill, Bharatiya Janata Party’s deputy leader in the House, Ravishankar Prasad however sought clarification on whether it covered the corrupt practices in the private sector as most projects were being executed under the Public Private Partnership mode. He argued for the need to bring mega scams such as 2G and coal block allocations too under the scanner as these involved the role of third parties.

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