The government on Thursday introduced a legislation that would protect whistleblowers and provide severe punishment to those who expose the identity of, or try to victimise, such people.

The Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 also provides for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage disclosure of information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, which cause “demonstrable losses” to the government.

The Bill, introduced by Minister of State for Personnel Prithviraj Chavan, brings under its ambit employees of Central and State governments, public sector firms, local authorities and societies, among others.

According to its Statement of Objects and Reasons, the Bill seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints as well. The legislation was necessitated as it was felt that there were impediments in eliminating corruption in the government due to “lack of adequate protection” to complainants.