Published On: Thu, Mar 3rd, 2016

Whistleblowing govt officials harassed for exposing corruption in their depts: CVC to SC

New Delhi: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that many whistleblowing government officials had complained of being harassed for exposing the alleged malpractices in their departments and they were being punished by way of transfer and departmental proceedings.

Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary

Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary

Taking a serious view of the loopholes in the existing mechanism to protect whistleblowing government officials, a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and U U Lalit asked the Centre to file affidavit on how to improve the current set-up for their protection and also maintain confidentiality.

With Whistleblowers Protection law pending in Parliament for years and in the absence of any effective administrative set-up to deal with the issue, the court said there was absolute vacuum which could not be allowed to go on and directed the government to file response within four weeks.

The CVC virtually admitting that the vigilance department has not been able to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowing government officials.

The apex watchdog told the Supreme Court that it had received 244 cases of alleged harassment and threat to life to whistle-blowers between 2007-13. The number of such cases were 22 between 2004-06.

“In many instances, it has been observed that whistleblowing government officials claim harassment to them and seek exemption from transfers/postings in order to avoid being posted in inhospitable locations,” the CVC said in its affidavit.

The CVC also told the court that amendments to the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011 was pending before Parliament.

Inputs with TNN

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