Report No. 179
The Proposed Bill and Its Basis
7.0 In the earlier Chapters, we have referred to the need for elimination of corruption and mal-administration in government and in the public sector. We have referred to the basic concepts of public policy and public interest, which are the foundation for protection of 'whistle blowers'. We have referred to the need to strike a proper balance between the Right to Free Speech and the Right to Know. We have also referred to judicial approaches in USA, UK, European Court and by our Supreme Court in that behalf. We have also referred to the salient provisions of the UK Public Interest Disclosure Act, 1998, the Australian Public Interest Disclosure Act, 1994, the New Zealand Protected Disclosures Act, 2000 and the US (Federal) Whistle Blower's Protection Act, 1989.
7.1 In the light of the above principles of law and provisions in other Countries, we proceed to formulate the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Informers) Bill, 2002 for application in our Country.
Before we proceed to the Bill, we shall briefly refer to the reports of certain earlier Committees, which have gone into corruption in India. 84
(A) Earlier efforts
7.2 (a) The Santanam Committee Report 1963 The Santhanam Committee, 1963 was a Parliamentary Committee which was requested to give a report on the methods of eradicating corruption. The Committee went into the matter extensively and suggested that there should be Vigilance Commissions both at the Centre and in the States. It referred to political corruption as more dangerous than corruption of officials. It observed:
"that there is wide spread public impression that some Ministers who held office for several years have enriched themselves illegitimately, obtained good jobs for their sons and relations through nepotism and have obtained other benefits inconsistent with any notion of purity in public life".
The Committee counselled priority to prevention of political corruption over prevention of administrative corruption. It opined that the top had to be made clean to expect cleanliness at the lower levels. It emphasized that elected representatives, ministers and legislators have to first create a climate of integrity as an example for others to follow.