While criticising the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi government for its decision to appeal the CBI court’s clean chit to BJP MPs in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Thursday favoured passage of Whistleblowers Bill in Parliament, being pushed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as well.
“The Lok Sabha has passed the Whistleblowers Bill and the same is pending before Rajya Sabha. If there is any window of opportunity for legislation, which is available in this session, I do hope this Bill can be passed at the earliest,” Jaitley said on his website expressing “suprise” at reports of the Kejriwal government’s move to appeal exoneration of BJP MPs in the cash-for-vote scam.
Jaitley said BJP MPs and a few others were “whistleblowers” in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam and that “along with alleged bribe-givers, three whistleblowers were arrested” and the “Special Judge, CBI, in Delhi discharged the three whistleblowers along with some others” last November.
“It, therefore, surprises me that one of the earliest decisions of AAP government would be to challenge discharge of whistleblowers by a competent court,” Jaitley said asserting, “They were wrongly charged, and rightly discharged” and “this judgment was a significant victory for those campaigning for rights of whistleblowers and grant of protection. India needs more whistleblowers so acts of corruption can be exposed”.
“AAP ostensibly claims to be a product of a movement which campaigned for the Lokpal and the whistleblowers legislation,” the senior BJP leader said. He added, “Arvind Kejriwal and his government would now plead for prosecution of whistleblowers comes to me and many others as a matter of surprise”. Jaitley asked whether Kejriwal’s appeal to Delhi public to turn whistleblowers will make them law-breakers.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.