Published On : Mon, Nov 3rd, 2014

VTA welcome CM’s first step on citizens’ charter


Vidarbha Taxpayers Association (VTA) had been constantly persuading steps to eradicate corruption from government offices, as corruption has hardly hit citizens and simplest work in such offices has become cumbersome for obvious reasons. Further more everyone requires a tout to get his file cleared, else for years together the applicant is running pillar to post to get his work done.

Recently VTA delegation had met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his felicitation and had specifically requested him for two causes initially, implementation of citizens charter alongwith strong rules and withdrawal of Local Body Tax (LBT), to which he had assured VTA for appropriate action soon.

VTA is glad that Devendra Fadnavis in his very first press address after swearing in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra spoke on bringing ‘Right to Service’ act having stringent rules which shall be helpful in legally enforcing citizens charter provisions, much needed by common man.

Fortunately Maharashtra State already has similar to ‘Right to Service’ act – “Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act, 2005”, however it didn’t had rules to carryout purpose of the act, to which Tejinder Singh Renu had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) 50/2011, wherein court had directed Government of Maharashtra to form ‘Rules’ for more commonly known as Citizens Charter Act without further delay in its Order dated 21.12.2011.

However despite of repeated reminders by VTA to State Government, no activities to follow High Court’s order was carried by Prithviraj Chavan Government, hence with no other option VTA through its secretary Tejinder Singh Renu filed Contempt Petition No. 15/2013 through its counsel Advocate Harnish Gadhia, wherein Notices were issued against respondents Chief Minister, Principal Secretary – General Administration Department (GAD) and Principal Secretary – Law & Judiciary Department, Mantralaya, Mumbai by High Court on 04.02.2013.

Just before start of winter assembly 2013, State Government enacted “Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Rule, 2013” by issuing Gazette Notification No. POD-1007/C.R.9/18 (O&M) dated 14.11.2013 and accordingly contempt proceedings were dropped.

J. P. Sharma, President of VTA said sadly these ‘Rules’ doesn’t have required strength, as available in Right to Information Act, 2005, whereby a common man can file complaint against irritant officer before officer’s senior fixing penalty in delay caused.

Tejinder Singh Renu, Secretary of VTA said these rules needs to be strengthened which should have simple procedure to launch appeal in case of delay in clearance of file alongwith punishment as per delay in number of days, which will automatically bring accountability on the concerned officer, whereby we’ll have specific deadlines for movement of files in a government office and final disposal of a citizen’s matter.

VTA strongly believes that the new Government of Devendra Fadnavis shall soon bring required amendments in the existing provisions or enact ‘Right to Service’ soon for the benefit of the common man.