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The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill of 2015 is the Bill draft proposing the amending and modification of the original law, i.e. the Whistle Blowers Protection Act of 2014. The original legislation was assented in the year 2014 on 9th day of May of the same year. It was enacted with the aim and object to make provision for establishing a mechanism to receive complaints in connection with disclosure on any allegation of corruption or wilful misuse of power or discretion against any public servant. And that Act is also originally making provisions for inquiring or causing an inquiry into such disclosure and to provide adequate safeguards against victimization of the person making such complaint. Moreover, this present Amending Bill is seeking the various modifications in that original enactment and some essentials of them can be discussed as follows.

In its proposed amendment, this Amending bill is seeking the prohibition of the reporting of the corruption related disclosure if it falls under any Ten Categories of information. In all these categories, there can be seen including economic, scientific interests, security of India, intellectual property, cabinet proceedings, and all other information received in a fiduciary capacity, etc. Moreover, this Bill is reversing the provisions of permitting disclosures as were prohibited under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 which were allowed by the Original Act in that provisions. Thus, as per the proposed amendments, the Bill sought to disallow the disclosures which are covered by the Official Secrets Act, 1923. Also it is permitting the any disclosure made in public interest if received by a Competent Authority, and if the same is falling under nay of the above Ten prohibited categories, then the same authority will take a decision on the matter, which will be binding.

Thus, the present bill is introduced after the Original Act was passed without considering the modifications suggested by Lok Sabha while passing the Bill. However, the modifications suggested and circulated in Rajya Sabha in the month of August, 2013 were not incorporated in the Bill when it was passed by Rajya Sabha, in the year 2014. As such the present Bill is providing in its statement of Object and Reasons that this has been introduced to give effect to the earlier amendments which could not be passed.

Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan