Millennium Post

Whistleblowers set to get protection

For the first time, a central government employee, who exposes corruption in his department, will be able to get protection against any threat to his life.

According to an amended resolution notified by the government, a nodal officer has been designated in each central ministry to look into complaints of corruption received from whistleblowers--a term given to people who expose corruption in government departments.

‘The Chief Vigilance Officers (CVOs) of the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India are also authorised as the designated authority to receive written complaint or disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office by any employee of that Ministry or Department,’ said the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers (PIDPI) Resolution notified by the Ministry of Personnel here.

Until now, the CVC was the only designated agency to receive complaints from whistleblowers under PIDPI resolution.

The CVOs, who act as distant arms of CVC, of any corporation established by or under any central act, government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the central fovernment and falling under the jurisdiction of that Ministry or the Department will also be designated authority to receive such complaints.

‘Either on the application of the complainant, or on the basis of the information gathered, if the designated authority is of the opinion that either the complainant or the witnesses need protection, the designated authority, shall take up the matter with the Central Vigilance Commission, for issuing appropriate directions to the government authorities concerned,’ said the amended resolution. The CVC shall supervise and monitor the complaints received by the designated authority, it said.

The amended resolution would enable speedy disposal of the complaints and would make the public servants more responsible and accountable in their efforts in helping the government towards combating and eradicating corruption, officials in the Ministry said. A whistleblower can give details of complaint accompanied by supporting documents or other materials to the designated authority. His identity will be protected, they said.

On 23 August, in what is sure to encourage whistleblowers, the Supreme Court had ruled that identity of persons who tip off anti-corruption agencies about corrupt deals of bureaucrats can never be revealed to the accused facing prosecution under Prevention of Corruption Act.


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