- Whistle blowers' Protection Bill, 2011 was passed by the Lok Sabha last night. It seeks to provide for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers.
- The Bill also seeks to provide adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion that causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant.
- While the measure sets out the procedure to inquire into the disclosures and provides adequate safeguards against victimisation of the whistle-blower, it also seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints.
- Major amendment cleared by the Cabinet is the inclusion of ministers, MPs, defence services, intelligence agencies, bank officials and PSUs under the ambit of the bill. The Special Protection Group has been kept out of the ambit of the Bill.
- One of the recommendations of the Committee to include higher judiciary (Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts) has been rejected.
The definition of competent authority to which a complaint can be made, has also been expanded.
- For complaint against a Union Minister, the competent authority is the Prime Minister; for MPs, Lok Sabha Speaker or Chairman of Rajya Sabha; for lower court judges, the High Court of the state; for central or state government employees, CVC or state vigilance commissions.
- It provides for punishment for revealing the identity, either negligently or with malafide intention, of the person who reports matters regarding corruption by a public servant.