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Section 5, Whistle Blowers Protection Act 2014: Power & Functions Of Competent Authority...

The contents of Section 5 (Power and functions of Competent Authority on receipt of public interest disclosure) under Chapter III (Inquiry in relation to Public interest disclosure) of the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2014, is reproduced as under:—

“(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Competent Authority shall, on receipt of a public interest disclosure under section 4,—
   (a) ascertain from the complainant or the public servant whether he was the person or the public servant who made the disclosure or not;
   (b) conceal the identity of the complainant unless the complainant himself has revealed his identity to any other office or authority while making public interest disclosure or in his complaint or otherwise.

(2) The Competent Authority shall, upon receipt of the complaint and concealing the identity of the complainant, or the public servant in the first instance, make discreet inquiry, in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed, to ascertain whether there is any basis for proceeding further to investigate the disclosure.

(3) If the Competent Authority, either as a result of the discreet inquiry, or on the basis of the disclosure itself without any inquiry, is of the opinion that the disclosure requires to be investigated, it shall seek comments or explanation or report from the Head of the Department of the organisation or authority, board or corporation concerned or office concerned within such time as may be specified by it.

(4) While seeking comments or explanations or report referred to in sub-section (3), the Competent Authority shall not reveal the identity of the complainant or the public servant and direct the Head of the Department of the organisation concerned or office concerned not to reveal the identity of the complainant or public servant:

Provided that if the Competent Authority is of the opinion that it has, for the purpose of seeking comments or explanation or report from them under sub-section (3) on the public disclosure, become necessary to reveal the identity of the complainant or public servant to the Head of the Department of the organisation or authority, board or corporation concerned or office concerned, the Competent Authority may, with the prior written consent of the complainant or public servant, reveal the identity of the complainant or public servant to such Head of the Department of the organisation or authority, board or corporation concerned or office concerned for the said purpose:

Provided further that in case the complainant or public servant does not agree to his name being revealed to the Head of the Department, in that case, the complainant or public servant, as the case may be, shall provide all documentary evidence in support of his complaint to the Competent Authority.

(5) The Head of the organisation or office concerned shall not directly or indirectly reveal the identity of the complainant or public servant who made the disclosure.

(6) The Competent Authority, if after conducting an inquiry, is of the opinion that—
   (a) the facts and allegations contained in the disclosure are frivolous or vexatious; or
   (b) there are no sufficient grounds for proceeding with the inquiry,
it shall close the matter.

(7) After receipt of the comments or explanations or report referred to in sub-section (3), if the Competent Authority is of the opinion that such comments or explanations or report reveals either wilful misuse of power or wilful misuse of discretion or substantiates allegations of corruption, it shall recommend to the public authority to take any one or more of the following measures, namely:—
   (i) initiating proceedings against the concerned public servant;
   (ii) taking appropriate administrative steps for redressing the loss caused to the Government as a result of the corrupt practice or misuse of office or misuse of discretion, as the case may be;
   (iii) recommend to the appropriate authority or agency for initiation of criminal proceedings under the relevant laws for the time being in force, if so warranted by the facts and circumstances of the case;
   (iv) recommend for taking of corrective measures;
   (v) take any other measures not falling under clauses (i) to (iv) which may be necessary for the purpose of this Act.

(8) The public authority to whom a recommendation is made under sub-section (7) shall take a decision on such recommendation within three months of receipt of such recommendation, or within such extended period not exceeding three months, as the Competent Authority may allow on a request made by the public authority:

Provided that in case the public authority does not agree with the recommendation of the Competent Authority, it shall record the reasons for such disagreement.

(9) The Competent Authority shall, after making an inquiry, inform the complainant or public servant about the action taken on the complaint and the final outcome thereof:

Provided that in a case where, after making an inquiry, the Competent Authority decides to close the case, it shall, before passing the order for closure of the case, provide an opportunity of being heard to the complainant, if the complainant so desires.”







This page was last updated on 31st December, 2017.

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