Union Cabinet approves Whistleblowers Bill

     The Union Cabinet on Monday cleared the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Informers) Bill, 2010, which gives sweeping powers to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to protect whistleblowers from any disciplinary action for exposing corruption in a government department. The Bill will now be tabled in the Parliament, and if passed would be sent to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil for her consent. It will become an Act if President Patil signs it. Revealing the identity of a whistleblower can invite up to three years in jail and a fine of up to Rs 50,000. The Bill also proposes that no court can interfere in the case and can have any powers over the decision made by the CVC. It will also be able to take action against anyone, who makes frivolous complaints. The Bill, if cleared by the Cabinet and thereafter passed by Parliament, will go a long way in helping those who make disclosures in public interest. The proposed law comes in the wake of the murder of Right to Information activist Amit Jethwa in Ahmedabad recently.

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