Right to public services legislation

The introduction of Right to Services Act in India has given a weapon given to the citizens of India. In consideration for growing incidents, complaints and to introduce a statutory mechanism that might control corruption and delayed services with lack of transparency, the correct to Public Services Legislation was enacted.

What is Right to Public Service Act:

Right to Public Services legislation in India comprises statutory laws which guarantee time bound delivery of services for various public services rendered by the Government to citizen and provides mechanism for punishing the corrupt public servant who is not able to provide services to people and time bound delivery of various public services rendered by the Government to citizens. Madhya Pradesh was the state to enact this act on 18th August 2010.

As per the Act an officer in every district is designated to monitor implementation of the Act. He also has to ensure that information under this Act is provided to the common man and notifications to that effect are displayed on the notice boards in every district, tehsil & other offices which are under the purview of this Act. The services under this Act are provided for free without payment of any fees. Right to Service legislation aims to reduce corruption among the government officials and to increase transparency and public accountability. And red-tape in the offices and to ensure that relevant information as desired by the applicant is being provided to him/her within the stipulated time.

Adaptation in Maharashtra:

The Maharashtra Right to Public Service Act, 2015 is a revolutionary Act. In order to ensure effective implementation of this Act in Maharashtra, the Maharashtra State Commission for Right to Service has been established. This commission is headed by the State Chief Commissioner for Right to Service.

Citizens can get complete information regarding which services are available under this Act by accessing either the mobile app RTS Maharashtra or ‘Aaple Sarkar’ Web Portal. Citizens can even apply online for availing any of the services mentioned on the portal In case there is a delay in providing the services or denial of the services without adequate justification, citizens can file first Appeal and second Appeal with senior officers within the department and third and final Appeal will be filed before this commission.

The services to notified are detailed below with time limit:

What’s the procedure under Public Service Guarantee Act?

Generally, citizens receive an acknowledgement after they submit an application to the public officer for the preferred service. The officer is meant to render service within the stipulated time from the date of the acknowledgement. Every service should be provided to the applicant within the fixed timeframe unless some genuine reason is presented. But, if the officer fails to render the services within given time-frame, the Act has empowered the applicant to approach the First and Second Appellate Officers.

The Appellate Officer shall instruct and bind the officer to provide the service to the applicant. The Appellate Officer has authority to impose penalty, summon designated officers and instruct them to provide related documents. Any delay after the given instruction will attract fine as per the State Provisions on the delaying officer. Furthermore, even the Appellate Officer can be penalised under this Act if he fails to perform his duty imposed upon him by the Act.

Impact of Right to Services Act:

With around 20 States adopting the Act, the act exhibits actual efforts made to curb corruption and foster transparency government departments, which ought to help the common man to avail public services without any hassle. However, implementation of the Act varies from state to state. Each state has laid down penalty on failure to deliver the service within the set time and amount of penalty provided by states differ. 

The Central Government had proposed Citizen’s Charter and Grievance Redressal Bill 2011 or Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 on the same lines as that of Right of Services Act. It has not passed in the Parliament, but if passed it would have applied to, the central Government Departments, constitutional bodies, Statutory Authorities, Public-Private partnerships and NGOs mainly funded by Government.

Conclusion:

Although the Act has been enacted, proper implementation of the act is a far dream. People in general lack awareness about the Act. Government should try and reach out to citizens and make them aware about act. Government can conduct workshops, seminars and awareness camps, or perhaps make advertisements in media to make people understand the importance of this Act.

The display board should contain the services offered by the concerning government office and the time limit for the service in big bold letters. Proper displaying of boards in every office should be ensured. As per the Maharashtra act there is a officer appointed for this purpose in every district, but according to me jurisdiction of the officer is to wast to ensure small details in every office. Because of which still today many people try to get all the documents through agents and the corruption goes on. The enactment of the act was supposed to stop unspoken hassles, corruption, delayed services with lack of transparency by some errant public servants. Due to lack of publicity citizens are still going through the same.


Reference:

https://aaplesarkar.mahaonline.gov.in/en/CommonForm/RigthToServiceAct

https://mumbaicity.gov.in/service/maharashtra-rts-act/

Public Service Guarantee Act, Weapon Of A Common Man

https://www.myadvo.in/blog/right-to-service-from-government-bodies/

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