How You Can Make the Government Work by Using the Right to Services Act

GOVERNMENT SERVANTS REGULATION OF TRANSFERS AND PREVENTION OF DELAY IN DISCHARGE OF OFFICIAL DUTIES ACT, 21 of 2006

Also known as Right to Services Act (Lokadhikar) Or Transfers and Delays Act

(Applicable only to Maharashtra Government bodies.)

The First an Ordinance was issued in 2003 in response to Anna Hazare’s demand. Thereafter, The Act was passed in 2006 and the relevant Rules were made in November 2013.

One of the most useful Section of this Act for Citizens is Section 4 – Transfers

Section 4 specifies that the tenure of Government servants will be three years and transfers will normally be made only in April and May of each year. If an officer has to be transferred for special reasons in less than his tenure reasons have to be recorded in writing.

In the Vijay Kumbhar’s case- Chief Information Commissioner Mr. Ratnakar Gaikwad has ruled that such reasons have to be displayed on website.

Below find how an ordinary Citizen can use this Section:

Also under Section 4,when an officer is transferred in less than 2 years, send letter to Secretary of the concerned Department. Any Citizen can write such a letter in the format given below:

“Mr….. in….. Department at…..has been transferred from his job without completing his 3 year tenure. This is in violation of Section 4 of the ‘Transfers and Delays Act 21 of 2006. Please give me the weblink where the reasons have been displayed and send me the file notings in this matter.”

Section 8 specifies every Office or Department must publish Citizens Charter within six months of the Act. In this respect it is Section 64A for MCGM/BMC.

Section 2 (a) states: “Citizens Charter” means a list of facilities or services rendered by the Office or Department, together with the time limit for providing such facility or services to the general public;

Therefore, the Citizens Charter giving list of facilities/services is expected to be available and updated.If the Citizens Charter is not made and updated each year, send a letter to Secretary of concerned Department/ Municipal Commissioner, in the format given below:

“The Citizen’s Charter has not been prepared/updated as per Section 8 of the Transfers & Delays Act 21 of 2006. Please fix responsibility for this lapse and take action against the responsible officer. Also please inform me of the date by which an updated Citizen’s charter would be displayed.

In the case of MCGM/BMC please mention Section 64A of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act.

Section 9 is related to Delays and states: Generally most decisions should be taken in three levels.

Section 10 states: No file should remain with any officer for more than 7 working days (about 10 calendar days).

For all files which do not require reference to any other department, decision and necessary action should be taken within 45 days.

If files have to be referred to another department, decision and necessary action is to be taken within three months.

Section 10 – Important Rules:

  • Rule (2) Any wilful or intentional delay or negligence in the discharge of official duties or in carrying out the official work assigned or pertaining to such Government servant shall amount to dereliction of official duties and shall make such Government servant liable for appropriate disciplinary action.
  • Rule 3 (6) “The concerned Head of Office, Department on noticing or being brought to his notice any dereliction in providing service and facilities will hold and complete the preliminary enquiry within fifteen working days. If it is found that the concerned officer or employee has shown habitual or willful or intentional delay or negligence in discharge of official duty, the recommendation of Departmental -Enquiry shall be forwarded to the Competent Authority. The Competent Authority shall issue order of departmental enquiry as per the relevant Rules,”
  • When a delay which violates these timelines is brought to the notice of the competent authority he must carry out a preliminary enquiry within 15 working days (about 20 days).

Actions for Citizens in respect to Section 10:

If a complaint/representation/ application has not been responded to for 45/90 days send a letter to the Secretary of the concerned department/ Municipal Commissioner along the following lines:

  • “I had given my application for……….. on ………. (copy enclosed). Since then I have received no communication. I would like to draw your attention to Section 10 of the Transfers and Delays Act 21 of 2006 which mandates that no decision and necessary action can be kept pending for over 45 days/ 3 months. In the instant case, no decision has been communicated to me despite the lapse of…… months. I request you to conduct a preliminary enquiry within 15 days as per rule 3 (6) to fix responsibility on the officers responsible for this delay and take appropriate disciplinary action against them. I request that the report of the enquiry may please be sent to me.
  • I look forward to your early action in the above matter,”
  • 64C of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act

 

Section 11 mentions where the Act will not apply to matters relating to:

  • i) sub-judice matters;
  •  ii) cases referred to Lokayukta or Upa-Lokayuktas and other Constitutional institutions, Commissions, etc.; iii) quasi-judicial matters;
  •  iv) cases related to Central or other State Governments;
  •  v) cases related to Legislation;
  • vi) cases involving major policy decisions.

FOR EXAMPLE

  • Example: Application for water connection, repair permission, change of address, complaint of unauthorised construction, pension, no response to RTI application for over 45 days (suggest 60 days for practical reasons) could be dealt with by sending a letter to the Secretary of the department/ Municipal Commissioner:
  • “I had given my application for……….. on ………. (copy enclosed). Since then I have received no communication. I would like to draw your attention to Section 10 of the Transfers and Delays Act 21 of 2006 which mandates that no decision and necessary action can be kept pending for over 45/90 days. In the instant case, no decision has been communicated to me despite the lapse of…… days. I request you to conduct a preliminary enquiry within 15 days as per rule 3 (6) to fix responsibility on the officers responsible for this delay and take appropriate disciplinary action against them. I request that the report of the enquiry may please be sent to me.
  • I look forward to your early action in the above matter,”
  • 64C of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act

If no response received send a RTI application for the following information to the Public Information officer of the department/BMC after 40 days, as given below:

I had sent a letter asking for action to be taken under Section 10 (64C) on … date which reached on …… (copy enclosed). I want the following information on the action taken on it so far in the following format:

 

Date on which Application received Name and designation of the officer receiving it. Action taken

 

Date on which forwarded to  Next officer/office.

 

If You want Your Government to Work, You will have to Act.

 

This article has been written by Mr. Shailesh Gandhi, Former Central Information Commissioner.

 

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