Activists’ imprint on whistle-blower protection act?

August 11th, 2011 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Even as the government and Team Anna spar over the Lokpal bill, the parliamentary panel looking into the whistle-blower protection bill has given a report that goes along the line of recommendations made by the civil society group.

Tabled in the Rajya Sabha Thursday, the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill says that union ministers, higher judiciary and regulatory authorities should be included within the ambit of the bill.

The bill seeks to establish a mechanism to receive graft complaints against any public servant and to provide safeguards against victimisation of people making such disclosures.

The report also said that the quantum of punishment for filing frivolous complaints should be “substantially reduced” and the decision of penalty for such complains should be “appealable in high court”.

The committee said that it did not endorse the provision in the bill which ruled out complaints or events which were more than five years old.

The report was given by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on law and justice and public grievances, chaired by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi. The same committee is reviewing the Lokpal bill, tabled in the Lok Sabha last week.

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