On 13 May 2015, the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India's
bicameral Parliament) passed a Bill to amend the Whistleblowers
Protection Act 2011 (passed by Parliament in 2014), amid resistance
from the Opposition. The Bill will now be placed before the Rajya
Sabha (the upper house).
Views are being expressed that the Bill is being used to dilute the
effect of the Act. The Act states that any person, including a
public servant or an NGO, may make a public interest disclosure
before a Competent Authority. This would apply, irrespective of the
provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.
Section 8 of the Act provided that certain matters were exempt from
disclosure, such as:
information likely to prejudicially affect the interest of the
sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State,
friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or
morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or
incitement to an offence-
as might involve the disclosure of
proceedings of the Cabinet of the Union Government or any Committee
of the Cabinet;
as might involve the disclosure of
proceedings of the Cabinet of the State Government or any Committee
of that Cabinet.
The amendment bill adds other grounds on which information is
exempt from disclosure, such as:
information relating to commercial
confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure
of which would harm the competitive position of a third party,
unless such information has been disclosed to the complainant under
the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005;
information which is available to a
person in his fiduciary capacity or relationship, unless such
information has been disclosed to the complainant under the
provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005;
information, the disclosure of which
would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or
identify the source of information or assistance given in
confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;
information, which would impede the
process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of
personal information, the disclosure
of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or
which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the
individual, unless such information has been disclosed to the
complainant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act,
Because of the extension to the circumstances in which
information does not have to be disclosed, it is felt that the
Amendment is taking away from the effectiveness of the original
Originally published June 2015.
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On 31 December 2015 the President gave his assent to certain amendments to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. The amendments have increased the wage threshold for determining applicability of the Act from INR 10,000 to INR 21,000 per month.
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 provides for the payment of statutory bonus to eligible employees. The bonus payable is to be determined on the basis of profits or on the basis of production or productivity of the establishment.
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