Protected Disclosures Scheme
for Private and Foreign Banks operating in India
The Government of India, vide its Resolution dated April 21, 2004 had authorized the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) as the 'Designated Agency' to receive written complaints for disclosure on any allegation of corruption or misuse of office by any employee of the Central Government or of any corporation established by or under any Central Act, Government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government and recommend appropriate action.
As private sector and foreign banks are not covered by the above resolution, Reserve Bank of India on 18th April introduced Protected Disclosures Scheme for private and foreign banks operating in India, which has been formulated broadly on the lines of Government of India Resolution dated April 21, 2004.
1.1 Disclosure of information in the public interest by the employees of an organisation is increasingly gaining acceptance by public bodies for ensuring better governance standards and probity / transparency in the conduct of affairs of public institutions. Large scale corporate frauds had necessitated, internationally, various legislative measures for safeguarding public interest, through enactments such as Whistleblower Protection Act in USA and Public Interest Disclosure Act in UK. In the Indian context, the Government of India had passed a resolution on April 21, 2004 authorizing the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) as the ‘Designated Agency’ to receive written complaints or disclosure on any allegation of corruption or of misuse of office and recommend appropriate action. The jurisdiction of the CVC in this regard is restricted to employees of the Central Government or of any corporation established by it or under any Central Act, Government companies, societies or local authorities owned or controlled by the Central Government.
1.2 As a proactive measure for strengthening financial stability and with a view to enhancing public confidence in the robustness of the financial sector, RBI has formulated a scheme called "Protected Disclosures Scheme for Private Sector and Foreign Banks". The salient features of the Scheme are as under:
2. Scope and Coverage
2.1 As Public Sector Banks and Reserve Bank of India (since it is an entity established under Central Statute) have already been brought under the purview of Government of India scheme, with a view to avoid duplication, this Scheme would cover all private sector and foreign banks operating in India.
2.2 The complaints under the Scheme would cover the areas such as corruption, misuse of office, criminal offences, suspected / actual fraud, failure to comply with existing rules and regulations such as Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, Banking Regulation Act 1949, etc. and acts resulting in financial loss / operational risk, loss of reputation, etc. detrimental to depositors’ interest / public interest.
2.3 Under the Scheme, employees of the bank concerned (private sector and foreign banks operating in India), customers, stake holders, NGOs and members of public can lodge complaints.
2.4 Anonymous / pseudonymous complaints will not be covered under the Scheme and such complaints will not be entertained.
2.5 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be the Nodal Agency to receive complaints under the Scheme. RBI would keep the identity of the complainant secret, except in cases where complaint turns out to be vexatious or frivolous and action has to be initiated against the complainant as mentioned at para 2.6 below.
2.6 The institution against which complaint has been made can take action against complainants in cases where motivated / vexatious complaints are made under the Scheme, after being advised by RBI. An opportunity of hearing will, however, be given by the concerned bank to the complainant before taking such action.
2.7 Final action taken by RBI on the complaint will be intimated to the complainant.
To read about Procedure for lodging the complaint under the Scheme and Framing of protected disclosure policy by banks
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