Please Join The Legal Battle Against The Corrupt

Encourage whistleblowing

The Veerappa Moily Commission on Administrative Reforms II has recommended the system of whistleblowers. It advocates that an honest and conscientious public servant, privy to information relating to gross corruption, abuse of authority or grave injustice, should be encouraged to disclose it in public interest without fear of retribution. In conjunction with the Freedom of Information Act, a Whistleblowers Protection Act can indeed be a potent tool for promoting good and transparent governance in the country.

Endorsing the right to information as a fundamental right flowing from Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal has emphasised that ‘public accountability’ is a facet of administrative efficiency, information serving as an instrument for the oversight of citizens. He has stoutly pleaded for the enactment of the whistleblower law on the basis of the draft bill suggested by the Law Commission.

In its Report No 179 in 2001, the Law Commission favoured a whistleblowers law, called Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Act. All that has so far been done in the country is a pusillanimous notification issued by government at the instance of Supreme Court, following the case of Dubey killed in Bihar for highlighting corruption in NHAI. The vigilance commissioner was designated as the authority to receive complaints about corruption and mismanagement in government.

The term ‘whistleblowing’ is a relatively recent entry into the public lexicon. The overriding public interest may lie in protecting the public’s right to be told, and the whistleblower’s right not to be punished for doing so. In the words of the noted US journalist Reed Irvine, “Coal miners used to carry caged canaries into the mines with them.

When the canaries stopped singing, they knew they were in trouble and they had better get out fast. Whistleblowers in government and other large organisations are, in a way, our canaries. When they are free to ‘sing’, those institutions are healthy. When they are silenced, we are in trouble”.

Whistleblowing is a distinct form of dissent. Citizens in the US blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse more than anywhere else in the world. Whistleblowing is not for the faint of heart. The burden of proof to show reasonable cause devolves overwhelmingly on the whistleblower. In the US, whistleblowing is also encouraged by statute as an ethical duty.

In 1980, a code of ethics for government service (PL 96-303) was unanimously passed by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. On October 8, 1994, Congress acted to strengthen the Whistleblower Protection Act. The amendments they passed plugged holes, improved procedures, and provided additional safeguards for whistleblowers.

After the spectacular collapse of Enron and WorldCom, US Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, granting sweeping legal protection to whistleblowers in publicly-traded companies. Anyone retaliating against a corporate whistleblower can now be imprisoned for up to 10 years.

In December 2002, in a unique gesture, Time magazine named three whistleblowers: Sherron Watkins of Enron, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Cynthia of WorldCom as its ‘Persons of the Year’ for 2002 for their bravery in exposing how American corporations to government agencies really operate. Whistleblowing has featured in Hollywood films such as Serpico, Silkwood, Marie, and, of course, The Insider.

The Economics Times 26/12/2006

It is important to safeguard all those honest persons working in various offices from the corrupt.Every Service Rule of all Government/ Public Sector jobs require every person to work with ABSOLUTE INTEGRITY. If you have not observed it earlier please go through your Service Rules now.

The Latest Administrative Reforms Commission headed by Sri Veeerappa Moily has recommended for encouraging whistleblowing (Please see the right panel)

Please share your ideas as we are planning to move the court on the deliberate shielding of the corrupt by the highest level . In fact my husband will be seeking advanced ruling on the requirement that his Service Rules require him to work with ABSOLUTE INTEGRITY. His interpretation is that this requirement inherrently DEMANDS WHISTLEBLOWING, which he has been doing for a long time.Only protection to honest officers can curb corruption. A Public Services Bill is pending with Govt of India for a long time. My husband's strategy is to get a ruling on ABSOLUTE INTEGRITY , so that even if the Bill gets delayed there will be something to mobilize honest officers across the country.

For example, I am reproducing below the extract from AIS Conduct Rules.
3. General.-
(1) Every member of the Service shall at all times maintain absolute integrity and devotion to duty and shall do nothing which is unbecoming of a member of the Service.
(2) Every member of the Service shall take all possible steps to ensure integrity of, and devotion to duty by, all Government servants for the time being under his control and authority
I request you to offer your suggestions on the above

Absolute integrity is that which makes you as a Government Servant to make public, the mistakes, made even by his seniors to any one who asks about it. It may a citizen or citizen group, the press etc. As Government Servant is on duty 24 hours daily, he cannot have intervals not requiring Absolute Integrity. He cannot have an integrity of a different nature before the public. If this were to be so Service Rules would not have demanded any Government Servant to maintain absoute integrity at all times. This means whistleblowing is demanded by the requirement of ABSOLUTE INTEGRITY. iF YOU HAVE TO KEEP QUIET WHEN CITIZENS ASK THEN IT MEANS YOU ARE NOT WORKING WITH ABSOLUTE INTEGRITY. THIS IS AGAINST YOUR SERVICE RULES. YOU SHOULD BE PULLED UP FOR YOUR MISCONDUCT!

I request all honest officers across the country, all experts in law to debate this at the earliest and move the Court so that a major step can be taken in the shortest possible time in the fight against corruption. Please send links to this page to whom you think will take it further. We have provided for making comments on this page only A box will appear at the extreme end of this page.
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