Whistleblowers' Bill likely to be brought in RS today
An indication to this effect was given by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday.
New Delhi: After its passage in Lok Sabha sometime back, the much-talked about whistleblowers' protection bill is expected to be brought in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday but with certain amendments to keep national security matters away from controversy.
An indication to this effect was given by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Monday. The move follows reports that the government and BJP have agreed to keep matters related to national security away from controversy, by excluding them from the key anti-graft whistleblowers' protection and Lokpal bills pending in Parliament.
The government is likely to move an official amendment to the whistleblowers' protection bill when it is introduced in Rajya Sabha.
The amendments would make it clear that "no complaint will be entertained in matters involving the national security, sovereignty and integrity of India."
The two sides also appear to be in agreement for extending immunity to the National Security Advisor and PMO officials, proposed for the Prime Minister in the Lokpal Bill, in matters related to foreign relations, internal/external security and atomic energy.
The whistleblowers' protection as well as Lokpal bills were passed by Lok Sabha in the Winter Session last year and are pending in Rajya Sabha. After the whistleblowers' bill's passage in the Upper House, it would travel back to the Lower House in view of the amendments.
Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy has discussed the matter with Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
In a related development, top government officials have informed the Rajya Sabha select committee, which is examining the Lokpal bill, that it would require an amendment to exclude PMO officials from its ambit in matters related to "international relations, external/internal security, public order, atomic energy and space."
The whistleblowers' bill seeks to provide for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers.