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Report No. 179

Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informers

Chapter I


"Whistle blowers protection is a policy that all government leaders support in public but few in power tolerate in private"-

Thomas M. Devine1

The Whistle blowers Protection Act, 1989: Foundation for the Modern Law of Employment Dissent' by Thomas M. Devine, vol. 51, Washington College of Law, Administrative Law Review (1999), p. 533.


1. The Law Commission of India had received a letter dated 24th August, 1999 from Shri. N.Vittal, the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), requesting the Law Commission to draft a Bill encouraging and protecting honest persons to expose corrupt practices on the part of public functionaries. In this connection, he made a reference to the speech of Prime Minister Shri.Atal Bihari Vajpayee condemning rampant corruption and highlighting the principle of 'zero tolerance' not only from the demand side of public servants but also from the supply side.

1.1 In the aforesaid letter, Shri.Vittal informed the Law Commission that he had banned actions on anonymous/pseudonymous complaints which had been lodged by disgruntled elements to blackmail honest officials resulting Central Vigilance Commission and their names had to be kept confidential.

Shri. Vittal, in the said letter, stressed the need of a statute regarding whistle blowing (meaning thereby disclosure of a conduct adverse to the public interest) that might go a long way in strengthening the fight against corruption in the country. He found support for such a law in whistle blowing legislations already in operation in UK , US and Australia. The Law Commission took cognizance of this communication of the Central Vigilance Commission and initiated a study on the subject.

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