Aruna Roy Seeks Early Passage of Whistleblower Bill

New Delhi
Aruna Roy Seeks Early Passage of Whistleblower Bill

Social activist Aruna Roy along with other leading activists today demanded the immediate passage of the grievance redress bill and the whistleblower protection bill contending enactment of Lokpal bill is not adequate to fight corruption.

Welcoming the passage of Lokpal Bill by Parliament, the members of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) said that in order to have an effective accountability framework for people of the country, the passage of the pending grievance redress bill and the whistleblower protection bill is crucial.

The failure to pass the accompanying accountability legislations will thus not even meet the promises made by Parliament in its August 2011 resolution, in which it promised the people of India that it will legislate a mechanism for grievance redress and citizen charter, the members said.

"In Parliament, during the debate on Lokpal bill, the leader of Congress Rahul Gandhi, the Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, senior Minister Kapil Sibal and MPs of JD(U), CPI, CPI-M and BJP mentioned the urgent need to pass these crucial bills.

"As there is complete consensus across political parties on these legislations, Parliament should have taken up these bills for discussion and passed them. While senior ministers mentioned that the Parliament session could be extended to pass the accompanying accountability measures, it is inexplicable why the session was adjourned two days before its scheduled closure," member of NCPRI, Aruna Roy said.

"The Lokpal will be important to address high-level corruption, for which we earlier didn’t have a legislative framework but it will be a half measure if the other legislations are not brought in," she said.

Anjali Bhardwaj said after scores of brutal deaths of whistleblowers in the last few years and millions of pending complaints of ordinary people regarding non-delivery of basic services like ration, pension, education, there can be no excuse for Parliament to adjourn sine die.

"People are far more affected in a real sense, on a day-to-day basis, by petty corruption and non-delivery of basic services which can only be tackled if the grievance redress bill is passed which would ensure accountability of officials and ensure there is time-bound redress of peoples’ complaints," Bhardwaj said.

Nikhil Dey of NCPRI said no one law can ensure that corruption is completely eradicated and there is complete accountability.

"There were several agitations demanding the passage of this Lokpal bill. The experience with the RTI Act has shown it will require ongoing engagement to ensure that the bill is implemented properly and effectively.

"One of the key problems with Lokpal bill is that states have the freedom to decide the nature and structure of Lokayuktas. We demand that the parties which supported the passage of Lokpal bill must adopt Lokayuktas modelled on Lokpal bill in their own states," he said.

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