Beware, babus in Madhya Pradesh. A new bill in the state --the first of its kind in the country -- can fine government officials up to Rs 5000 if they delay work related to the common man.
The bill termed Citizen Charter underlines services to people in the government departments within a stipulated timeframe.
A day's delay beyond the time limit would entail a penalty of Rs 250, two days delay Rs 500 and so on up to maximum of Rs 5000.
After passing the Madhya Pradesh Public Services Providing Guarantee Bill, 2010, the chief minister, who termed the bill historic, said, "The Bill has provision to decide for how many days a particular file can rest on official's desk. The official will be responsible for the delay in work."
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Narrotam Mishra said, "Government departments dealing with public will have to execute their work within the stipulated time. If the departments/employees fail to do so, the aggrieved person may go in for an appeal. He may later file second appeal also against the decision of the first appellate authority."
"It's going to benefit the masses in the state," he added. The time for providing the service would be counted from the time of receiving and acknowledging the application from the applicant.
The service provider would be compelled to either provide the service within the stipulated time period or reject the application giving the reasons thereof.
The first appeal can be filed within 30 days of stipulated time. However, appellate authority may admit the file later on if s/he is convinced that appellant was prevented by sufficient causes from filing the application in time.
The first appeal officer shall lay down the period within which the service would be provided to the appellant. However, the appeal will have to be disposed of within stipulated period as notified or within such extended period not exceeding 45 days from the date of filing the appeal.
The second appeal can be filed within 90 days. If the second appellate authority is of the opinion that the designated officer without any reasonable cause failed to provide service he will impose a fine of Rs 250 a day for delay till the time the original application is disposed of by the designated officer.
The Public Services Guarantee Bill, 2010, empowers the state to fine an official Rs 250 to Rs 5,000 fine for failure to provide services like drinking water connections or caste certificates. The money will go to the complainant as compensation.