Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act
The Rajasthan Government launched its guaranteed delivery of public services act on 14th November 2011 coinciding with the birth anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It came into force with an aim to provide public services in a time-bound manner. The initial Act covered 108 services of 15 major government departments, envisages a time-bound performance of duties by government officials and it possessed a provision of cash penalty for the offenders. Presently, 153 services covering 18 departments, including 11 services of Local Self Government Department are covered under the Act.
Madhya Pradesh was the first state to bring out Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act on 18th August 2010. Rajasthan was the first state in India where the state government made a provision of the penalty imposed for failing to provide a service or for a delay.
What is Right to Public Services ?
Right to Public Services legislation in India comprises statutory laws which guarantee time-bound delivery of various public services rendered to citizens and provides mechanism for punishing the errant public servant if they are is deficient in providing the stipulated services. Hence, Right to Service legislation ensures delivery of time bound services to the public. If the concerned officer fails to provide the service in time, he will have to pay a fine. Thus, it is aimed to reduce corruption among the government officials and to increase transparency and public accountability.
The Department of Administrative Reforms and Coordination (ARD) is the nodal agency of the Government of Rajasthan for administrative reforms as well as redressal of public grievances relating to the states in general. The Department coordinates works with other state regarding Administrative Reforms.
Important Provisions of Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act, 2011
- Under this act, each Scheduled Department will appoint a personnel who will be liable for taking complaints under the Act.
- The authorized employee will give acknowledgment to the applicant in writing and also mention the deadline for the attached documents.
- The service shall be made available within the stipulated time and in case of delay or not getting the service, the deisgnated officer will clearly mention the reasons, the timing for the appeal and the appeal officer too.
- When calculating the deadline, public holidays will not be included.
- The designated officer will display all relevant information related to the services on the notice board for public information. It will also mention all the necessary documents for the service.
- No fee will be payable with First Appeal, Second Appeal and Revision Requirement.
- The applicant will be able to appeal to the First Appellate Authority within thirty days of termination of the deadline. The First Appellate Authority will either order the service to the concerned deputy official or reject the appeal.
- A second Appeal to the Second Appeal Officer against the decision of first officer shall lie within sixty days from the date of such decision.
- The stipulated time for clearance of appeals would vary from an hour in some cases to 24 hours; like in the case of appeals made with regard to post-mortem reports and goes up to 45 days; depending upon the service desired.
Penalty or Penalties –
- Where the Second Appellate Authority has the opinion that if the deputy official has failed due to adequate reasons to provide the desired service , then he would be able to impose penalty of more than 500 rupees and less than 5000 rupees or he can impose penalty on a rate of 250 rupees per day whose maximum limit is 5000 rupees.
- This amount can be given as compensation to the applicant as per the order of Second Appeal Officer.
Review of implementation:
As per CAG 2017 report, there were only 70 cases registered for first appeal and two for second appeal which clearly brings out that adequate effort was not made to create awareness among citizens. Additionally, Online monitoring system has been discontinued since June 2014. Presently no effective monitoring system/mechanism is in existence to ensure effective implementation of services (CAG report).