New Delhi: To instill confidence in the minds of potential whistleblowers, a Parliamentary panel has supported suggestions that they should be allowed ‘multiple points’ to lodge complaints of wrongdoings so that distance does not create a hurdle for people who want to expose corruption.

The Rajya Sabha Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel in its report on the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, 2010 has observed that routing complaints through the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) or the State Vigilance Commissions may not be the best way to instill
that confidence.

"...Multiple points may be provided for receiving complaints, especially to facilitate complaints in remote areas to make use of the enactment," the report said quoting the Committee's interaction with stakeholders.

There were also suggestions to provide for an option to receive the complaints electronically.

As per the mechanism laid out in the bill, the sole authority to receive a public interest disclosure is the CVC or the State Vigilance Commission.

The Committee has recommended to the Ministry of Personnel that if multiple points are made available to lodge complaints then the system should ensure that identity of complainant is protected and no loopholes creep in which will weaken the system.

The proposed legislation provides for severe punishment to those exposing the identity of people disclosing information.

It provides the CVC powers of a civil court to hand down harsh penalty to people revealing the identity of whistleblowers.