Delhi Assembly passes Bill to penalize government officials delaying services


New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly passed the Delhi Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Amendment Bill, ensuring that government officers who are late in providing services will face a salary deduction.

The passing of this Bill has been described as a “huge victory” against corruption by CM Arvind Kejriwal, who regretted not being present at the Assembly due to poor health.

Every government department will be asked to put out a “comprehensive citizens charter” within 30 days of them being notified. The HODs will be given charge of this.

E-governance platforms will be pushed by the Bill in delivering citizen services because of their greater transparency. Local bodies and government departments are being encouraged to take up this method.

A total of 371 services, covering almost all departments are currently in play under the domain of the Sheila Dixit enacted legislation.

“Congrats Delhi. Del Assembly passes the Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill, 2015 unanimously. A huge victory in our fight against corruption. It is beginning of end of cutting edge corruption that aam admi faces daily in his life,” Kejriwal said in his tweets.

It was the common citizen who bore the “entire onus” of getting compensation for delayed services, according to the Act. The government stated that the recent amendments were carried out to fix this issue.

According to the Bill, a ‘Competent Officer’ –a Deputy Secretary or a higher level official– will be entrusted with the job of paying compensation to the concerned citizen, while also recovering the compensation from the officer responsible.

“It shall be the duty of the concerned competent officer to ensure that the compensation is paid to the applicant within days as prescribed under the rules on which the service is provided failing which the citizen shall be paid double the said amount and it shall be deducted from the salary of the competent authority,” said the official statement, as  quoted by agencies.

Speaking in the Assembly, Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, said at the Assembly that due to this legislation being passed, common citizens now wouldn’t have to keep making rounds of officials and MLAs to get their work done.

Vijender Gupta, Opposition leader, who refrained from voting, asked Sisodia how much fine needed to be recovered.

The Amendment also mentions encouraging officials to provide timely service delivery by offering rewards through an incentive fund for service performance.