Jaipur: A public welfare government is tested on the basis of it's responsive behaviour along with its achievements. Proper and timely hearing of the grievances and problems of the citizens related to the governance by the government enhances its credibility further.
With this thinking the State Government first enforced the Rajasthan Public Services Guarantee Act 2001 and included 153 services of 18 departments under the Act. The basic objective of this Act was that common man had not to run door to door for his work and the work is completed in the stipulated time period. In the situation of work not being done, he should get the right to complain against the guilty. Under the Act. there is a provision of imposing penalty on the officer and the employee, if the work is not completed within the fixed time period. It is because of this reason, that out of more than 57 lakh cases registered in the short period after the enforcement of the Act, over 56.33 lakh cases have been disposed off successfully.
Though 153 services of 18 departments have been covered under the Rajasthan Public Services Guarantee Act 2001, however services of all departments could not be included under the Act due to various rules, Acts and procedures. Keeping this in view, the State Government took the historic decision to enforce the Rajasthan Right to Hearing Act 2012 from 1st August, 2012 in the whole state as supplement to the Rajasthan Public Service Guarantee Act 2011.
It is the result of the dynamic thinking of the Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot that the common man would get the Right to Hearing. The Act being introduced to fulfill the committment of responsive, transparent and accountable administration, would now ensure a great relief to the common man at nearest place of residence in the whole state. This arrangement of providing relief at the point where the problem originate would not only save time and expenses of the citizens, but would also develop a feeling of providing relief to the common man in the administration. Besides, the number of the applications being received at tehsil, district and at the state level would also come down.
Under the Right to Hearing Act, all types of government services other than the services included in the Rajasthan Public Services Guarantee Act.2001, works, welfare schemes and programmes of the state have been included and the common man has been given the Right to Hearing in a fixed time period on
any complaint lodged or dissatisfaction in these services and schemes. Under the Act such arrangement has been made that person lodging a complaint get the opportunity of Right to Hearing at nearest place of his residence, such as gram panchayat, tehsil, sub-division or district level.
The State Government has appointed Public Hearing Officers and Appellate Authority at gram panchayat, tehsil, sub-block, district and division level. Under the Act, Right to Hearing has been provided to the citizens on the complaint filed within the stipulated time period and right to get information about the decision made in the hearing on the complaint. This would provide a platform to the citizens to seek relief on their grievances and problems and they would not only get the opportunity of Right to Hearing in a stipulated time limit but also the right to get information about the decision made in the hearing of the complaint.
Right To Hearing : Important Points
Under the Act, Public Hearing Officers and Appellate Authorities would be appointed to provide Right the Hearing to the complainant at nearest place of his residence at gram panchayat, tehsil, sub-block, district and divisional level and his complaint would be heard in a stipulated time limit of 15 days.
Under the rules, provision has been made to get a receipt of the complaint filled in a prescribed format by the complainant. Alongwith this it has been made mandatory to give information about the decision made in the hearing of complainant in a time period of seven days in a prescribed format.
If the hearing is not done in the fixed time period or if the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the Public Hearing Officer, provision has been made to file an appeal. The first appeal would have to be disposed off within a period of 21 days. Alongwith this the sub-committee of Public Complaint and Vigilance Committee constituted at sub-block and district level have been given the powers of second appellate authority.
Under the Act, provision has been made to display information on notice boards in a prescribed format along with the provision of penalty on guilty officers and employees. The officers and employees have been given the right to request for revision in respect of the imposed penalty against them under the Act.
Provision has also been made for establishment of information and facilitation centers including citizens care center, call center etc. for the effective implementation of the Act. Public authority has been given protection of action taken in good faith under the Act. There is no doubt that this act would become a medium to provide relief to the common man.