Omar Govt’s landmark Bill getting Cabinet nod today
Public Services Guarantee Bill proposes penalties on defaulter officers
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
A year after BJP-led government of Shivraj Singh Chauhan pioneered its introduction and implementation in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah will be piloting J&K Public Services Guarantee Bill in both Houses of Legislature next week. Highly placed government sources revealed to Early Times that the state Cabinet, which would be meeting in the morning on Friday, would consider and subsequently approve draft of the groundbreaking Bill to curb inordinate delays in the basic delivery system of public services---and resultant corruption.
After Right To Information Act 2004/2009, this would be the most revolutionary legislation in
in over a decade. While Shivraj Singh Chauhan government in Madhya Pradesh had become Jammu and Kashmir India’s first state to launch this law in 2010, Nitish Kumar’s government in Bihar had made implementation of the Bill its key electoral promise last year. However, the Bill is yet to come up for legislation in Bihar. Jammu & Kashmir, which once pioneered anti-defection law during Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah’s government, would become ’s second state to implement the groundbreaking law. The Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly had passed the historic Bill unanimously on July 30, 2010. India
Sources said that Departments of Law and General Administration had fine-tuned the draft much on the pattern of Madhya Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act/Lok Seva Adhiniyam, 2010. However, with a major difference, J&K law would authorise the government to later identify the public services to be brought under purview of the new legislation. The Madhya Pradesh law had identified some key services--- issuance of Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Caste Certificate, Domicile Certificate, Water Connection, Khasra copies---and made public servants accountable for every day of delay beyond a stipulated period.
Under the new law, officers responsible for issuing the certificates and other public services would be liable to fine of Rs 500 to Rs 800 per day out of their pocket. However, government in J&K would identify the services after passing the legislation in current session of Assembly and Council. Sources said that immediate senior officials of the defaulting officials would be the appellate authorities and J&K Special Tribunal was likely to be designated as the apex appellate authority. The law would make the officers responsible for delivering various certificates, including issuance of ration cards, driving licenses, water and LPG connections, power connections etc, within a fixed timeline. The defaulting officers would be straightaway liable to fine.
Chief Minister had indicated introduction of the revolutionary law at a conference of Departmental Vigilance Officers (DVOs) in the winter capital in January. The Madhya Pradesh-type law would ensure delivery of time bound services to the public.
With implementation of the new law, the applicant shall receive a receipt when he or she submits an application to the officer for desired service. The time begins from the date of submission which is mentioned in the receipt.
There is a fixed time for every officer to keep a file with him. If the officer in charge fails to provide the service in time the applicant can approach the first and second appellate officers. They would instruct the officer concerned to provide the service.
In case of delay, the officer in charge will have to pay a fine to the tune of Rs. 500 per day, subject to a maximum of Rs. 5,000.
The Appellate officer can also be penalized if he fails to ensure the delivery of service. He shall be fined to the tune of Rs. 800 per day, subject to a maximum of Rs. 5,000 if he is unable to give any valid reason for non delivery of services.