STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 7 February
Hundreds of people gathered at India Gate to demand the passage of the Whistleblowers Protection & Grievance Redress Bills.
Families of several whistleblowers who had been killed for exposing corruption marched from India Gate to Jantar Mantar holding their photographs.
The Grievance Redress bill (The Right of Citizens to Time-bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill) and the Whistleblowers Prtoection bill have been pending in Parliament for several years. Both the bills will lapse if they are not passed in the ongoing session of Parliament.
"I lost my brother 10 years ago. He was killed for exposing corruption in NHAI. Leaders of every political party assured my family that a mechanism to protect whistleblowers will be put in place. It’s been 10 years. When will they pass the law? said Dhananjay Dubey, brother of slain Satyendra Dubey.
Anjali Bhardwaj of the National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI) said that NCPRI, along with families of whistleblowers, had met with leaders of all parties- Rahul Gandhi, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, D. Raja- who had assured them that these bills were top priority and that their parties will support the passage of these bills.
"All the parties assured us that given the critical nature of these bills, they will support the passage of these bills. Some key amendments are required to strengthen the bills. If the Parliament functions for even half a day, it can easily discuss and pass the bills," said Ms Bhardwaj
The protestors issued an appeal to all MPs to allow Parliament to function and to debate these bills. Terming them as human rights legislations, people demanded that these be given priority in the Parliament.