Govt to present bill seeking protection of whistle-blowers

Initiative is being taken to curb corruption in government departments.

Zahid Gishkori July 01, 2015
Government drafts a bill seeking to protect whistle blower. PHOTO: EXPRESS


In an aim to curb corruption, the government has decided for the first time to present a bill seeking to protect whistle-blowers; thus, ensuring the protection of journalists as well.

A bill was drafted in this regard and sent to the federal cabinet, recommending protection to whistle-blowers who help expose corrupt officials across the country, the law secretary told the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Human Rights on Wednesday.

"Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed us to get the Cabinet's approval before we present the draft to Parliament,” Justice (retd) Muhammad Raza Khan.

The initiative is being taken to curb corruption in government departments.

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Bill seeking ban on alcohol for non-Muslims deferred

A bill seeking a ban on the consumption of alcohol by non-Muslims in the country was deferred by the Senate panel.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) Senator Hafiz Hamdullah moved the bill in Senate on the basis that "liquor is prohibited in Islam; hence its consumption and selling should not be permitted in this Islamic State."

Hamdullah's bill seeks an amendment in clause (h) of Article 37 of the Constitution, which states, "Prevent the consumption of alcoholic liquor otherwise than for medicinal and in the case of non-Muslims, religious purposes."

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The JUI-F senator is seeking to omit the last line ("and in the case of non-Muslims, religious purposes”) of the clause. However, opposing to the bill in its recommendations, the Ministry of Law and Justice deferred it.

Further, the committee rejected another bill by Senator Hamdullah in which he sought to omit clause (2) of Article 248 of the Constitution. The respective clause provides immunity to the president and the governor from criminal proceedings in any court during their service period.