Act Against Officers Who Delay Redressal: House Panel

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) Action against officers responsible for delay in redressal of citizens' grievances has been recommended by a Parliamentary panel, its chairman reported today.

''The internal system for redressal of grievances... is not working,'' E M Sudarsana Natchiappan, chairman of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, told journalists.

''That is the reason for non settlement of grievances resulting in filing of petitions in the courts,'' Natchiappan said, noting the growing pendency of cases in courts, currently estimated at 30 million.

A large segment of cases in courts could have been avoided by having in place ''a good and mature internal grievance redressal system,'' he pointed out.

''The Committee is of the opinion that due attention should be given to timely redressal of grievances lodged,'' Natchiappan said.

''It is also of the considered view that officers responsible for delay should be made accountable and suitable action taken against them.

''A time limit of 30 days and provision of fine on delay should be in place,'' Natchiappan said, adding that the remedy is envisioned as part of a Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism ''on the line of the Right to Information Act, 2005.'' The idea, he said, is to ''make it mandatory on all-- State Governments, Union Territories, Ministries, Departments, Organisations-- to pursue the grievances till their final disposal.'' Noting that most government organisations were still setting up Citizen Charters, the Committee stressed that these be put in place on priority and widely publicised.

It called for a grievance-handling system that is ''accessible, simple, quick, fair, responsive and effective.'' The Committee recommended strengthening the procedure so that grievances are ''settled then and there.'' UNI MJ RP CS1708

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