Delhi govt to penalise officials who delay public services

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2015 01:19 IST
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during inauguration of the Delhi Pavilion at the 35th India International Trade Fair (IITF-2015) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi (PTI)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has decided to deduct salaries of officials if they fail to provide services included in the citizen charter within the prescribed time limit.

Previously, an applicant was allowed to claim compensation for delays but the government has proposed to make the process automatic and mandatory by amending the ‘Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Act 2011’.

There are a total of 371 services that cover almost all departments as of now but chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked the head of departments to review the list.

“If the officials feel that their department is facing a staff crunch, the service offered by their department can be removed from the list for the time being. Because once we have the service in the list, we will not listen to any excuse,” said Kejriwal.

Kejriwal said that due to the wrong design of existing laws, no claim for compensation has been filed so far in the last three years. People can file application online to avail services provided under ESLA (Electronic Service Level Agreement).

“Under the amended law, if you are promised delivery of a certificate within 15 days but don’t get it, then from the 16th day the compensation clause will kick in automatically. And once you get the certificate, you will be notified of the compensation amount and within 15 days the competenent authority will submit the amount directly in your account. Later the competent officer will fix the responsibility and decide from whose account money will be deducted. Only the minister in-charge will have the power to waive the amount,” Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal said that the amended legislation will ensure both rewards and penalties as officials who perform well and are not complained against will receive handsome rewards.

The government has also simplified the process of getting various certificates — such as caste, income, marriage, domicile certificates among others. While there are twelve services which include no usage of affidavit with only self-attestation required, to stop misuse, government has proposed stringent law, including FIR registrations, against those furnishing wrong details.

At present, furnishing wrong details is a non-cognizable offence and offender can face an imprisonment of up to six months or a fine of `1,000 or both. The government will table the proposal in the next cabinet meeting.

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