NGOs seek more protection for whistle blowers

New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) More security for whistleblowers and extending the jurisdiction of the Act to theprivate sector were some of the suggestions made by NGOs andindividuals today at a meeting of a Parliamentary panelscrutinising a bill to provide protection to those who blowthe lid off corrupt practices.

The Standing Committee on Law and Personnel todayheard submissions made by NGOs and individuals to strengthenthe Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to PersonsMaking the Disclosures Bill, 2010.

The Bill, moved by the Department of Personnel andTraining in the Lok Sabha last year, was referred to thepanel.

Those who submitted their views before the Committeestressed that the level of protection to whistle blowersshould be enhanced so that more people come out againstcorruption.

There was an overwhelming view that the jurisdictionof the proposed legislation should be extended to the privatesector and corruption was equally rampant there and there wasa need to curb it.

Some of the people were of the view that punishmentfor false or frivolous complaints was very stringent and itshould be relaxed to encourage people to speak up againstwrong doings.

The meeting was presided over by Congress MP ShantaramNaik as Committee Chairperson Jayanti Natarajan was away.

Clause 16 of the Bill provides for punishment forfalse or frivolous disclosure with imprisonment up totwo years and also fine up to Rs 30,000.

The Bill seeks to establish a mechanism to receivecomplaints relating to disclosure on any allegation ofcorruption or wilful misuse of power against public servantsand to inquire into such disclosure and to provide adequatesafeguards against victimisation of the whistle-blower. PTISKU NAB

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