Flaws in the Maharashtra Right to Public Services Ordinance, 2015 should be corrected
The recently introduced Maharashtra Right to Public Services Ordinance 2015 promulgated on 28 April 2015 which is likely to become the law has a few flaws which need to be corrected:
1. Since designated officer can also file appeals-first, second and third,- it could wear out most applicants (Section 8 (2)). The government officer will be filing the appeals and attending hearings at government cost, whereas the applicant will have to do this at his own expense. The appellate authority is the superior of the designated officer and even his administrative order must be complied with by the designated officer. In RTI PIOs cannot file appeals.
2. The provision to make First and Second appellate authorities assume the powers of a civil court could summon the applicants for hearings (Section 9 (6)). In RTI there is no such power except for the Commissioner.
3. Actual realization of the meager penalty, - 500 to 5000,- very difficult, since first the responsibility is on the penalized officer himself. (Section 11)
4. If a service is sanctioned but not provided, it will meet the mandate of the law, this does constitute service. Section 5 (2).
5. If some other officer, - who is not a designated officer is responsible for delay, there
Is no provision in this law for any action against him.
6. Penal action can be taken against the applicant! Section 23
7. If first appellate authority does not give any decision the appellant gets only 15 days to file his second appeal Section 9 (3).
Another major problem is that it does include services promised in citizen charters rendering the citizen charters redundant. Besides if there is a divergence in what is promised in the citizen charter and the notified services it will be difficult to resolve. It would be better if instead of just making the act apply to ‘notified services’ it could have ‘notified services and those mentioned in citizen charters’.
If some of these are not corrected this law may wither away soon
Tel: 91 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. 26001003; 8976240798
Mera Bharat Mahaan.
Per Yeh Dosh Mera Hai.