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Salient Features of the Whistleblowers Protection Act and its Critique

Dear all,

The Indian Parliament has approved the Whistleblowers Protection Bill (attached). The document containing the salient features of the Bill along with a comment on its shortcomings could be downloaded. The text of the Bill as passed by the Lower House two years ago is also attached. The uncorrected verbatim text of the debate in the Upper House is also attached. CHRI was part of the public education and advocacy efforts around this BIll.
The media reported that the Upper House did not make any changes to the Bill as passed by the Lower House a couple of years ago. There were some initial concerns that the Bill would be diluted on grounds of national security but that did not happen. This Bill was one of the last pieces of legislation approved by Parliament before the general elections likely to be held in April-May 2014.
The last push for the adoption of this law was in large measure due to the families of murdered citizen whistleblowers coming out on the streets and picketing the offices of the major national political parties demanding immediate passing of this law. This was organised by the National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI). Strangely, serving bureaucrats or their associations did not come out strongly demanding the passage of this Bill even though several whistleblowers in service were shunted out or treated badly by the governments in many parts of the country.
Kindly circulate this email widely.
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Venkatesh Nayak
Programme Coordinator
Access to Information Programme
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
B-117, 1st Floor, Sarvodaya Enclave
New Delhi- 110 017
Tel: +91-11-43120201/ 43180215
Fax: +91-11-26864688
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DATED: Thursday, 27 February 2014 15:14
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