Assembly passes Bill to penalise babus for delay in services

The Delhi Assembly on Thursday passed the Delhi (Right Of Citizen To Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, a piece of legislation that will automatically deduct salaries of babus in cases of delay in delivering government services on their part.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was not present in the Assembly, described the passage of the Bill as a “huge victory” in the fight against corruption and lamented his inability to attend the House on the occasion due to ill-health.

The Bill, among its other provisions, seeks to ensure that every government department puts out “comprehensive citizens charter”, within 30 days of its notification and that the responsibility is fixed with the HODs.

The legislation also encourages government departments, local bodies to adopt the e-governance platform to deliver their respective citizen related services in prescribed time period through electronic means aimed at bringing transparency.

Presently, there are a total of 371 services, that covers almost all departments, under the ambit of the legislation that was enacted during the tenure of Sheila Dikshit.

“Congrats Delhi. Del Assembly passes the Delhi (Right Of Citizen To Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 unanimously. A huge victory in our fight against corruption. It is beginning of end of cutting edge corruption that aam admi faces daily in his life,” Kejriwal said in a series of tweets.

The government said that the amendments seek to rectify the current Act which has put the “entire onus” of getting compensation, fixing the responsibility for delayed services on the citizen.

The Bill envisages entrusting a ‘Competent Officer’, person not below the rank of Deputy Secretary, with the purpose of effecting payment of compensation to an individual and recovery of the compensation from the officer or person responsible.

“It shall be the duty of the concerned competent officer to ensure that the compensation is paid to the applicant within days as prescribed under the rules on which the service is provided failing which the citizen shall be paid double the said amount and it shall be deducted from the salary of the competent authority,” an official statement said.
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