Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2014 – Today Current Affairs
The Act aims to protect the people who exposes corruption, wilful misuse of power or commission of a criminal offence against a public servant.
- It has broad definition of whistle blower as it includes government officials and any other person or NGO.
- The WBP law has provisions for concealing the identity of a whistle-blower, if so desired, following cases such as Satyendra K. Dubey, whose murder led to demand for such legislation.
- The law empowers the competent authorities to accord them protection, which includes police protection and penalising those who victimise them.
Weaknesses : The Hndu Analysis
Its jurisdiction is restricted to the government sector and encompasses only those who are working for the Government of India or its agencies. It means that it does not cover the state-government employees or Private Sector (Satyam Scam).
- It outlines sanctions for false complaints but does not provide any penalty for attacking a complainant.
- It does not allow anonymous complaints.
Whistle Blower Protection (A) Bill 2015 : The Hindu Analysis
The Bill sought to dilute the Whistle blowers Protection Act, 2014.
- The Bill prohibits the reporting of a corruption related disclosure if it falls under any 10 categories of information:
- Economic, scientific interests and the security of India.
- Cabinet proceedings.
- Intellectual property.
- Received in a fiduciary capacity.
- The Act permits disclosures that are prohibited under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), 1923. This Bill disallow disclosures that are covered by the OSA.
- Any public interest disclosure received by a Competent Authority will be referred to a government authorised authority if it falls under any of the above 10 prohibited categories. This authority will take a decision on the matter, which will be binding.
Key Issues and Analysis : The Hindu Analysis
- The 10 prohibited categories are modelled on those under the RTI Act, 2005. However, this comparison may not be appropriate. Unlike the RTI Act, disclosures under the Bill are not made public but in confidence to a high level constitutional or statutory authority.
- With regard to the 10 prohibited categories, the RTI Act allows–
- The public authority to disclose information if he considers it to be in public interest.
- A two stage appeal process if information is not made available. The Bill does not contain such provisions.
- A Competent Authority is required to refer a prohibited disclosure to a government authority for a final decision. However, the Bill does not specify the minimum qualifications required or the process of appointment of this authority.
- Whistle-blower laws in other countries also prohibit the disclosure of certain types of information.