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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 passed. Fine upto Rs. 50,000/- for delay.

The Right of Citizens for Time-Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011, was approved by Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The bill envisages penalty of up to Rs. 50,000 against a government official failing to provide his or her duties, official sources said.

It lays down an obligation upon every public authority to publish citizen’s charter, stating therein the time within which specified goods shall be supplied and services be rendered and provides for a grievance redressal mechanism for non-compliance of its provisions.

All government departments are covered by the bill. 

The penalties for officials who miss the deadline start at Rs. 250 a day with a ceiling of Rs. 50,000.

If a service is not provided on time because of corruption - like an official insisting on a bribe to get the job done - a criminal investigation could follow.

Highlights of the Bill

The Bill seeks to create a mechanism to ensure timely delivery of goods and services to citizens.
Every public authority is required to publish a citizens charter within six months of the commencement of the Act.  The Charter will detail the goods and services to be provided and their timelines for delivery.
A citizen may file a complaint regarding any grievance related to: (a) citizens charter; (b) functioning of a public authority; or (c) violation of a law, policy or scheme. 
The Bill requires all public authorities to appoint officers to redress grievances.  Grievances are to be redressed within 30 working days.  The Bill also provides for the appointment of Central and State Public Grievance Redressal Commissions.
A penalty of up to Rs 50,000 may be levied upon the responsible officer or the Grievance Redressal Officer for failure to render services.

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