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Govt, Opp fight over whistleblowers bill in LS

Mar 29, 2012 20:50 IST

#Lokpal   #NewsTracker   #Rajya Sabha   #Whistleblower  

New Delhi: Taking a dig at the Opposition which sought more time to study the Whistle Blowers' Bill, 2011, Union minister V Narayansamy today said the government was helpless if they could not find time to read the bill presented during Winter Session of Parliament.

But the Opposition retorted saying the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha without discussion and there were "serious issues", including those concerning provision of safety to the whistleblowers, which should be addressed before the legislation was debated in the Rajya Sabha.

PTI

"To study the bill is their job. Not ours. Should we give them time to read," Narayanasamy told reporters when asked about Opposition's argument on the bill.

The bill aims at establishing a mechanism to receive complaints relating to disclosure of any allegation of corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants and a discussion on it failed to take place in the Rajya Sabha today due to stiff resistance by the Opposition.

Opposing government's argument, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha along with the Lokpal Bill and there was no specific discussion on it in that House.

"There are certain very serious matters which need to be addressed before we take up this bill," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Referring to the recent killings of "large number of whistleblowers, honest government officers and RTI activists by unscrupulous elements", he said "unless proper protection is offered to them what is the point.

"So we have suggested that this Bill should be brought to the House along with Lokpal after amendments we have suggested are incorporated."

PTI