Some lacunae in Citizens` Charter Bill: NCPRI

With the govt all set to introduce Citizens` Charter Bill in Parliament, Aruna Roy-led NCPRI said there were "some significant lacunae" in it.

New Delhi: With the government all set to
introduce Citizens` Charter Bill in Parliament, Aruna Roy-led
NCPRI on Wednesday said there were "some significant lacunae" in the
proposed mechanism and sought more independence for the
grievance redressal system.

There were "some significant lacunae" in the grievance
redressal bill which if appropriately amended will empower
citizens to claim their entitlements and ensure greater
accountability in matters of day-to-day governance, it said.

"We are concerned that this authority has not been made
appropriately independent of the government and recommend that
the appointment, transfer and removal of the designated
authority must be with the concurrence of the State/Central
Grievance Redress Commissions, who would also write their
annual confidential reports," an NCPRI statement said.

Cautiously welcoming the introduction of a separate Right
of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and
Redressal of their Grievances Bill in Parliament, it said they
were concerned that the provision of compensation has been
made conditional to the imposition of penalty.

"Compensation should be paid as and when awarded and not
when, and if, the penalty is imposed. There should be a
protocol that ensures that certain categories of violation
will attract mandatory penalties and compensation," Roy and
activists Shekhar Singh, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bhardwaj said
in the statement.

The National Campaign for People`s Right to Information
(NCPRI) said it has maintained since the initial discussions
in April, that grievances and corruption need different and
appropriate structures to deal with them.

"The government draft bill does not include some vital
provisions. These need to be addressed if the law has to
actually benefit people. These could be easily corrected
through amendments in Parliament," it said.


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