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WHISTLEBLOWERS: AG MUKUL ROHATGI SUPPRESSED THE FACT OF THE WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTION ACT, 2011 BEFORE SC

 
 
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WHISTLEBLOWERS: AG MUKUL ROHATGI SUPPRESSED THE FACT OF THE WHISTLEBLOWERS PROTECTION ACT, 2011 BEFORE SC
by System Administrator - Thursday, 7 January 2016, 11:19 AM
 

By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru: Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi reportedly stated in apex court on Wednesday that Act is not passed in Rajya Sabha where as The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, is AN ACT Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 11, 2011 and by Rajya Sabha on February 21, 2014Got assent of President Pranab Mukherjee on 09-05-2014 . Gazette notification of the Act was issued on 12-05-2014 but Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the SC bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi that the bill has been passed in Lok Sabha and is pending in Rajya Sabha which is incorrect false and misleading to highest court of India. Which prompted the bench to reminded the Centre that the court had earlier directed it to set up administrative mechanism for whistleblowers' protection, which must be complied with .Now the law minister of India should clarify about this mess created by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. Which information is correct as both the information are available in public domain. http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31806&articlexml=Whistleblowers-must-be-protected-Apex-court-07012016011045 and Gazette notification of the Act was issued on 12-05-2014 and is available in public domain.

The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, is AN ACT to establish a mechanism to receive complaints relating to disclosure on any allegation of corruption or willful misuse of power or willful misuse of discretion against any public servant and to inquire or cause an inquiry into such disclosure and to provide adequate safeguards against victimization of the person making such complaint and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto. The Central Government shall ensure that no person or a public servant who has made a disclosure under this Act is victimised by initiation of any proceedings or otherwise merely on the ground that such person or a public servant had made a disclosure or rendered assistance in inquiry under this Act.If any person is being victimized or likely to be victimized on the ground that he had filed a complaint or made disclosure or rendered assistance in inquiry under this Act, he may file an application before the Competent Authority seeking redress in the matter, and such authority shall take such action, as deemed fit and may give suitable directions to the concerned public servant or the public authority, as the case may be, to protect such person from being victimised or avoid his victimisation: If the Competent Authority either on the application of the complainant, or witnesses,or on the basis of information gathered, is of the opinion that either the complainant or public servant or the witnesses or any person rendering assistance for inquiry under this Act need protection, the Competent Authority shall issue appropriate directions to the concerned Government authorities (including police) which shall take necessary steps, through its agencies, to protect such complainant or public servant or persons concerned. The Competent Authority shall, notwithstanding any law for the time being in force, conceal, as required under this Act, the identity of the complainant and the documents or information furnished by him, for the purposes of enquiry under this Act, unless so decided otherwise by the Competent Authority itself or it became necessary to reveal or produce the same by virtue of the order of the court.The Competent Authority, at any time after the making of disclosure by the complainant or public servant, if it is of the opinion that any corrupt practice required to be stopped during the continuation of any inquiry for the said purpose may pass such interim orders as it may deem fit, to prevent the immediate stoppage of such practice. Any person, who negligently or mala fidely reveals the identity of a complainant shall, without prejudice to the other provisions of this Act, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years and also to fine which may extend up to fifty thousand rupees.

People who expose corruption in government or irregularities by public functionaries can now be free of any fear of victimization. The Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011, which provides a mechanism for protecting the identity of whistleblowers -- a term given to people who expose corruption -- got the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee on 09-05-2014 . Gazettle notification of the Act was issued on 12-05-2014 . The Act also provides for a system to encourage people to disclose information about corruption or the willful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers. As per the law, a person can make a public interest disclosure on corruption before a competent authority -- which is at present the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). The government, by notification, can appoint any other body also for receiving such complaints about corruption, the Act says. The Act, however, lays down punishment of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to Rs 30,000 for false or frivolous complaints. "Any person who makes a mala fide disclosure, knowing that it was incorrect or false or misleading, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to two years as well as a fine which may extend up to Rs 30,000,” according to a gazette notification of the Act issued on 12-05-2014by the Ministry of Law and Justice. The Act says that every disclosure shall be made in good faith and the person making the disclosure shall provide a personal declaration stating that he reasonably believes that the information disclosed by him and the allegation contained therein is substantially true. Disclosures can be made in writing or by email or email message in accordance with the procedure as may be prescribed and contain full particulars and be accompanied by supporting documents, or other material, the Act states.However, no action shall be taken on a disclosure if it does not indicate the identity of the complainant or public servant or if "the identity of the complainant or public servant is found to be incorrect”. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on December 11, 2011 and by Rajya Sabha on February 21, 2014. Earlier, the CVC was the designated agency to receive complaints from whistleblowers under the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer resolution (PIDPI) or whistleblowers' resolution. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had directed all central government departments to designate a nodal officer in each ministry to look into complaints of corruption received from whistleblowers under PIDPI.