Saturday, August 27, 2011

Whistleblowers Protection Law In India

Just like anti corruption laws, whistleblower protection laws in India have been long ignored by Indian government and Parliament of India. Of course, if the Parliament of India fails to fulfill its constitutional duties of law making, the balance between the three organs of Indian constitution would be disturbed. This also raises the doubt about the very existence of separation of powers under the constitution of India.

Absence of whistleblower protection requirements from various drafts Jan Lokpal bills presented by civil society and Indian government is also the reason why experts are not considering them as ideal and strong. In fact, experts have openly claimed that the suggested Jan Lokpal Bills are not strong and effective. The proposed drafts of Jan Lokpal Bills have failed to incorporate many good suggestions of experts that could have made the proposed law more comprehensive, robust and effective.

One of the areas that require an “Immediate and Urgent Attention” of the Parliamentary Standing Committee constituted in this regard is to ensure a Strong, Robust and Constitutionally Sound Jan Lokpal Law, opines Praveen Dalal, a Supreme Court Lawyer and leading techno legal expert of India. A Strong and Effective Whistleblower Protection Law in India is “Mandatorily Required” for the successful application and functioning of many other Laws, including the proposed Jan Lokpal Law, suggests Dalal.

Presently, whistleblowers are at the mercy of hard core criminals who are least afraid of the law and order of India. This is evident from the killing of many Indian whistleblowers in the past that have raised their voices against the corruption existing in governmental dealings.

It would be a prudent exercise to involve maximum intellectuals and experts by the Parliamentary Standing Committee so that a national consensus in this regard can be obtained.

By confining the Jan Lokpal Bill to the version of either the civil society or government version, the Parliamentary Standing Committee would be doing injustice to India. Further, a Jan Lokpal law without whistleblowers protection is nothing but wastage of time, money and resources. I hope the Parliamentary Standing Committee would consider all these aspects before coming out with the final draft of Jan Lokpal law of India.