Suppose you want to pass a law to discourage whistleblowers, what should be the single most important provision of such a law? The answer is obvious: refuse the whistleblower the fundamental safeguard of anonymity, and do not accept any "public interest disclosures" unless the whistleblower reveals her identity.
Well, this is precisely what the misleadingly named Whistleblowers' Protection Bill, passed by the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the winter session of Parliament last month, does.
It states categorically (section 4, clause 6): "No action shall be taken on public interest disclosure by the Competent Authority if the disclosure does not indicate the identity of the complainant or public servant making public interest disclosure or the identity of the complainant or public servant is found incorrect or false."
In a country where corruption is so endemic that it's now an emotive electoral issue, why is a supposedly anti-corruption piece of legislation more eager to establish the identity of the complainant than to ensure that complaints are received, are investigated, and that the complainant is protected from retaliation?
As it happens, this is just the beginning of the travesty—it gets better.
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