• The Government  introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha that seeks a time-bound redressal of citizen's complaints. The Bill is intended to curb corruption among government offices.
  • The Citizens Right to Grievance Redress Bill, 2011, introduced in the House by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Mr V Narayanasamy, outlines the responsibilities of the government departments towards citizens - and how someone who is denied the service can take action. The Bill will pave the way for setting up of a central public grievances redressal commission and a commission on similar lines in the states.
  • According to the statement of objectives of the Bill, every public authority or government department has to publish a citizen's charter listing all the services that the department has to render along with timelines. It also provides for a grievance redressal mechanism for non-compliance of citizen's charter. It also provides for a designated officer, who is not from the department against which the complaint has been filed. Every public authority will appoint or designate Grievance Redress Officers whose contact information will be clearly shared with the public.
  • The Grievance Redress Officer will provide the public with all necessary assistance in filing complaints. Within two days of the complaint being registered, the citizen who has filed a complaint will receive the response through short messages or e-mail. A unique complaint number will be set up along with a time frame within which the complaint will be handled. The time frame cannot exceed 30 days from date of the complaint received. Our correspondent reports that if citizens are unhappy with the decision of the Central or State Commissions, they can appeal to the Lokayukta or Lokpal.