20 states/UTs have enacted public services Act: Centre to HC

New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) Twenty states and unionterritories have enacted public services delivery law fortime-bound redressal of citizens’ grievances, the Centre todaytold Delhi High Court. The government said this as it sought dismissal of a pleaseeking a direction to it to provide a citizens’ charter inevery department to ensure time-bound delivery of goods,services and redressal of their grievances. "It is further submitted that as far as state governmentsare concerned, 20 states have already implemented the publicservice delivery Act. This is critical as most of the publicservice delivery takes place at state level," the departmentof administrative reforms and public grievances told a benchof Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal. A citizens’ charter is issued for improving the qualityof public services and to let people know the mandate of aministry or a department and how to seek remedy for theirgrievances. In its affidavit, the department said it has issuedguidelines to all ministries and departments to formulatecitizens charter, its periodic updation and publicationthrough respective websites. It said that "efforts are ongoing to ensure that citizencharter is also implemented in the sub-ordinate organisationsfor which recommendations of department related ParliamentaryStanding Committee have been duly circulated with necessaryinformation being collected from all ministries/departments." "As already stated, the Right of Citizens for Time BoundDelivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of theirGrievances Bill, 2011 (Citizens Charter) could not be passedand lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.However, it is to be noted that 20 states/UTs have alreadyenacted public services Act," the department said. The bench fixed the matter for hearing on November 15. Petitioner advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has alsosought a direction to the Centre to implement United NationsConvention Against Corruption of October 2003 and ‘Sense ofthe House’ resolution of August 27, 2011. "A citizen charter in every department will send a clearmessage that the government is determined to prevent andcontrol corruption," the plea has said. The petition has claimed that "prevailing corruptioncannot be controlled" in the absence of an independent andimpartial Lokpal at the Centre, Lokayuktas in the states and acitizen charter bill. PTI ABA HMP PPSARC

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