Initiative to make India Corruption Free
India’s existing framework of law like Indian Penal Code,
Criminal Procedure Code is considered adequate to provide for safety and security to all citizens.
With the increase in the incidence of corruption, persons who are intolerant to it and expose to the public about the corruption otherwise known as whistle-blowers had to sacrifice their life for a corruption free society. But, to make India corruption-free doesn’t need sacrifice of whistleblowers rather it needs these fighters who can fight further.
India’s existing framework of law like Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code is considered adequate to provide for safety and security to all citizens. But, these proved to be inadequate address protection of whistle-blowers. Hence, India needs a strong law to protect whistleblowers, so that each individual will come forward to expose the incidence of corruption in his/her organization. The issue of protection of whistleblower came to limelight with the slained engineer Satyendra Dubey. The Whistleblower Protection Bill as introduced in the Rajya Sabha in May this year defines a whistleblower as “any individual making public interest disclosure” and states that the designated authority shall not entertain any anonymous complaints of any manner. However, critics say that the Bill will benefit from a clearer definition of a whistle-blower, anonymous complaints can be scrutinised and stringent punishment for false complaints will discourage potential whistleblowers to come forward and make disclosures. Critics pointed at a few lacunae in the Bill. “The first is regarding the sanctions against false complaints. These complaints could be made in good faith but with poor information. Second,
there is no punishment for not acting on a complaint”. Besides they also highlighted the importance of giving the complainant the option of going to the media with the information.
Protection extended to family members of the whistleblower and to those who become witnesses in the case was also discussed. The National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) also suggested that the Bill be expanded to cover the private sector, especially agencies that enter into contracts with public authorities and public private partnerships.
Do you think the recent Bill would be able to address all the lacunae that were there in the earlier Bill? Will this Bill be able to protect the whistle-blowers?