Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 24:
Acting on the complaint of Odisha based rights activist Akhand, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Union government to take appropriate steps for protection of whistleblowers of the country through implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Act.
The Commission has directed secretary of Ministry of personnel, public grievance and pensions to take appropriate action in the matter within eight weeks. The Ministry is under Prime minister Narendra Modi.
The petiitioner alleged that though eight months had passed since enactment of the “Whistleblower Protection Act’, neither the Centre nor the States have framed rules as a consequence of which the Act had not been implemented yet.
It may be noted here that the Central government enacted “Whistleblower Protection Act’ in February 2014 with mandate to provide adequate safeguards to whistleblowers against victimisation and enquire into allegations of corruption or wilful misuse of power by government officials in the country. The Act will be implemented after Rules are framed by the Central and State governments.
On the other hand, attacks on human rights activists, RTI Activists, individuals exposing corruption are rising day by day across the country. Those exposing corruption and filling complaints in this regard have been rendered highly vulnerable at the hand of powerful people ssince their identities are not protected, the activist pointed out. Around 50 RTI Activists had been murdered in the country due to their act of exposing corruption by filling RTI applications, said Akhand in his petition.
“Due to callousness of government officers, the rules are not being framed. I had sought the intervention of the apex rights panel in the matter,” Akhand said.
Disposing of the petition the Commission said, “The complaint be transmitted to the concerned authority for such action as deemed appropriate. The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within 8 weeks and to inform the complainant of the action taken in the matter.”