Whistleblower Protection Bill Passed: A New Dawn Or Eyewash?

Posted on February 21, 2014 in Politics

By Mayank Jain:

The Story: The day has finally arrived for the whistleblowers in India. The Whistleblower Protection Bill which was in the pipeline for almost a decade has finally been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

Whistleblower-Protection-Bill

It was the last parliament session of the UPA II government and it was passed without accommodating any amendments that were prescribed by the government itself but could not be moved and some got defeated by the voice vote. The bill is one of the six anti-graft legislations that could seek parliamentary approval in this session. The bill is definitely a big beginning for whistleblowers’ protection which was in the lurch until now.

The bill will soon become a law with the assent of the President. The law is expected to improve disclosures, detecting corruption and providing protection and anonymity to the whistleblowers who choose to speak out for the greater good. The bill will provide, “adequate 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”.

The Opinion: The bill is just one of the six legislations that were aimed by the government to be passed in the current session. The bill has also gone through dilutions in order to make it ‘viable’ for the members of the house. The implementation is still undecided but it’s nevertheless a good start.
One can always speculate about the reasons for government’s new found activeness in vetting bills and legislations. New projects being announced, bills being passed and clearances being given at a breakneck speed is all part of the strategy which is yet to be unveiled.

Congress is one of the oldest players in Indian politics and it will be naïve to expect the party to lose ground so easily.

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