“Rajasthan First to Implement Right to Hearing:
A Socio-Legal Analysis”
Dr G L Sharma
PANACEA Research Foundation
81, Vishvesariya Vistar, Triveni Nagar,
Jaipur (Rajasthan) India – 302018
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With the aim of providing a time-bound hearing and disposal of complaints, Rajasthan Government has implemented the Right to Hearing Act, 2012 from 1st August, 2012. The desert state is the first one to ensure a right to hearing for the common man. The Act in itself is unique and aims to ensure that all complaints of the common man with regard to governance are addressed and disposed in a time-bound manner. This Act would further strengthen the Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act, 2011 which was implemented in November last year. It is noted that under the Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act 56,33,400 cases out of total 57,06,785 have been disposed of since November, 2011. In fact RRTH is used as supplementary and second line legislation after RRTS Act. This RTH Act is another consequential effort of State Government in the line of RTI and RTPS Act. The present paper is a humble effort to interpret Rajasthan RTH Act with socio-legal perspective. Key words: RRTH, RTPP, citizen care centre, help desk, Public Hearing Officers, Information and facilitation centres.
The Rajasthan Right to Hearing (RRTH) Bill, 2012 and Rajasthan Transparency in Public Procurement (RTPP) Bill, 2012 were passed in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly during the last budget session of 2012. Rajasthan Government has implemented the Right to Hearing Act, 2012 from 1st August, 2012. The BIMARU state is the first one to ensure a right to hearing for the citizens. The Act in itself is special in nature and aims to ensure that all complaints of the common man with regard to disposed in a definite time-bound manner. Under the Right to Hearing Act, the state government has appointed Public Hearing Officers and Appellate Authority at gram-panchayat, tehsil, and sub-block, district and division levels for hearing the complaints within a stipulated time limit of 15 days. The Act also has provision of first and second appellate authority along with the revision authority. The Act also provisions for establishment of information and facilitation centre including citizen care centre and help desk for effective implementation. The complainant can appeal to the first appellate authority against the decision of public hearing officer if he is not satisfied. Provision of penalty from Rs 500 to 5,000 has been made in the Act. The Act is a step taken by the state government which aims at providing sensitive, transparent and accountable governance. However, while the state government has introduced the Act, it is as important that the common-man is made aware about it and makes the most of it. In several cases, not all are able to make the most of a right provided to them. Like in case of Right to Information where it has been noted that few - mostly activists and those with vested interest - use it repeatedly. Information and facilitation centres, citizens care centres and call centres have also been set up for the purpose. There is also a provision for second appeal. This Act simultaneously launched at all the 33 district headquarters on 5th August, 2012. The Government wants to ensure that every possible infrastructure facilities are in place, so the schemes could deliver the goods as envisaged by the Government. Government is targeting to set up Rajiv Gandhi Service Centre at all the 10,000 panchayat headquarters and 250 panchayat samiti headquarters. Common men could easily get documents related to agriculture land, death and birth certificate from these centre, which would be connected by broadband internet connections. Main Features of Rajasthan RTH Act:
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS: Many grievances and...
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