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Families of killed whistleblowers demand passage of legislation

Posted on Feb 07 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 7 : How many more Satyendra Dubeys will be killed before our MPs pass the whistleblower's protection bill, asked families of people killed for exposing corruption.

Hundreds of people Friday gathered at India Gate here to demand passage of the Whistleblowers Protection and Grievance Redress Bills.

The families of whistleblowers who had been killed held aloft photographs of their dead kin as protestors marched from India Gate to Jantar Mantar where they held a candle light vigil.

"I lost my brother 10 years ago. He was killed for exposing corruption in National Highways Authority of India (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?," asked his brother Dhananjay Dubey at the rally.

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 Protection bill have been pending in parliament for several years. Both the bills will lapse if they are not passed in the ongoing session.

Anjali Bhardwaj of the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI) said that NCPRI, along with families of whistleblowers, had met 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.

"If parliament functions for even half a day, it can easily discuss and pass the bills. Both the bills have already been through Standing Committees," she said.

The people pledged that they will meet every evening till parliament is in session and till the two bills are passed. Many of the protesters recounted how they were attacked and harassed for raising issues of corruption.

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 parliament.

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