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The Right to Public Services legislation for prosecuting erring officials

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By EMN Updated: Feb 23, 2020 11:22 pm
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Dimapur, Feb. 23 (EMN): The Right to Public Services legislation in India comprises statutory laws which guarantee time-bound delivery of various public services to citizens. It provides mechanisms for punishing errant public servants if they are deficient in providing the services.

This important subject for citizens was one of several topics that a workshop of the Nagaland University discussed recently.

The Nagaland University conducted a seminar for university employees on February 20 in the Kohima campus, Meriema, in Kohima with Advocate Kezhokhoto Savi, president of the Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation (NVCO) as guest speaker during several sessions.

The NVCO issued a press release on Sunday informing about the programme.

Savi, and assistant professor at Kohima Law College, talked about the public service delivery system during the main session. He said every citizen is entitled to hassle-free public services and redress of his grievances. Accordingly, the Right to Public Services Act represents the commitment of the state to the standard, quality and timeframe of service delivery, grievances redress mechanism, and transparency and accountability, it was informed.

‘The 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 If the concerned officer fails to provide the service in time, he will have to pay a fine,’ the NVCO stated.

Thus, it is aimed at reducing corruption among government officials and increase transparency and public accountability, the organisation stated in the press release.

‘The common framework of the state legislation includes, granting of right to public services, which are to be provided to the public by the designated official within the stipulated time frame. Some of the commonly provided public services include issuing caste, birth, marriage and domicile certificates, electric connections, voter’s card, ration cards, copies of land records etc within the fixed time frame,’ the NVCO stated.

The NVOC informed that the applicant may be compensated out of the penalty imposed on the officer. The organisation stated that Madhya Pradesh became the first state in India to enact the Right to Service Act, on August 18 2010.

Several other states like Bihar, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Assam, Gujarat, West Bengal, and Goa have introduced similar legislations for effectuating the right to service to their citizen, the NVCO stated.

“In Bihar, services include police verification report for passports(seven days); post-mortem report (three days); caste certificate (within a fortnight), education, road transport, driving license, banking services, kisan credit card, ration card, FIR enquiry, health, food and civil supplies, social welfare and power, etc. The faults in electricity connection will be set right within four hours,” the NVCO stated.

Now, the updates stated, the people “will no longer need to run around offices and grease the palms of employees to get their work done after this act.”

The organisation stated that the Rajasthan government has implemented the Rajasthan Guarantee Delivery of Public Services Act 2011 to ensure effective time-bound delivery of 108 services of 15 major government departments with a provision of cash penalty for the offenders ie., INR 250 to INR 500 per day on undue delay.

“The Nagaland state government is yet to enact the Right to Public Services Act/law ‘which is found to be very much application to the state and to clean up the system to ensure smooth delivery of services to the people and crack down on erring officials,’” the press release stated.

Earlier, the NVCO launched a public services delivery campaign with an appeal to the state government to introduce a similar legislation for effective public service delivery to its citizen in the state and would also curb corruption in the state government functionaries, the press release stated.

Savi also gave discourses on several other topics including the National Register of Citizens, Citizenship Amendment Act, the proposed Register of Indigenous Inhabitant of Nagaland, Eastern Bengal Regulation Act, and National Food Security Act, and the Food Safety & Standard Act, and reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General and issues of backdoor appointments, the updates stated.

There was an open discussion during which the officials took active part in sharing their opinions about various issues, the NVCO stated.

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By EMN Updated: Feb 23, 2020 11:22:31 pm