Twenty states and union territories have enacted public services delivery law for time-bound redressal of citizens’ grievances, the Centre today told Delhi High Court.
The government said this as it sought dismissal of a plea seeking a direction to it to provide a citizens’ charter in every department to ensure time-bound delivery of goods, services and redressal of their grievances.
“It is further submitted that as far as state governments are concerned, 20 states have already implemented the public service delivery Act. This is critical as most of the public service delivery takes place at state level,” the department of administrative reforms and public grievances told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.
A citizens’ charter is issued for improving the quality of public services and to let people know the mandate of a ministry or a department and how to seek remedy for their grievances.
In its affidavit, the department said it has issued guidelines to all ministries and departments to formulate citizens charter, its periodic updation and publication through respective websites.
It said that “efforts are ongoing to ensure that citizen charter is also implemented in the sub-ordinate organisations for which recommendations of department related Parliamentary Standing Committee have been duly circulated with necessary information being collected from all ministries/departments.”
“As already stated, the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, 2011 (Citizens Charter) could not be passed and lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. However, it is to be noted that 20 states/UTs have already enacted public services Act,” the department said.
The bench fixed the matter for hearing on November 15.
Petitioner advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has also sought a direction to the Centre to implement United Nations Convention Against Corruption of October 2003 and ‘Sense of the House’ resolution of August 27, 2011.
“A citizen charter in every department will send a clear message that the government is determined to prevent and control corruption,” the plea has said.
The petition has claimed that “prevailing corruption cannot be controlled” in the absence of an independent and impartial Lokpal at the Centre, Lokayuktas in the states and a citizen charter bill.