Patna: The Bihar Legislative Council today passed the Bihar Right to Public Grievance Redressal Bill unanimously after Opposition leader Sushil Kumar Modi called for formulation of apt rules for it's implementation and lend support to it.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while seeking the bill's passage in the Council said the bill will "empower people and strengthen democracy."
"The basic spirit behind this bill is to provide an opportunity to the public to present their grievances and provide solutions to them. It will empower people and strengthen democracy. It will increase the trust of public in democracy," he said.
Talking about the bill, Kumar said he gathered from experiences that people get opportunities to air their grievances, but there was no guarantee to their solution so "We thought the right for redressal should be provided."
He said the grievances and complaints received at "Janata Darbar" revealed that similar programmes organised at the level of ministers, commissioners, district magistrate, and other levels were not achieving desired results and institutional improvement was needed.
"To empower the public, fix responsibility on officials and give primacy to people's power over the power of rulers. Under the bill, we have provided deadlines for public grievances and provisioned for first appeal, second appeal, penalty and disciplinary action," he said.
The Chief Minister said irresponsibility shown by government officials would be deemed as corruption under the bill and the appellate authorities have been given powers of civil court to deal with them by issuing summons, conducting hearings and passing decisions.
"There are too many irregularities in the governance system due to disinterest of officials, their arbitrariness and red-tapism. The public representatives have to hear a lot due to their irresponsible behaviour," he said.