Right to Hearing

With the aim of providing a time-bound hearing and disposal of complaints, Rajasthan has become the first state in the country to implement the Right to Hearing Act. 
“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 of in a time-bound manner. This Act would further strengthen the Rajasthan Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act, which was implemented in November last year,’’ said chief minister Ashok Gehlot, addressing a media briefing at the chief minister’s office, after the meeting of the state cabinet. He said that under the Guaranteed Delivery of Public Services Act 56,33,400 cases out of total 57,06,785 have been disposed of since November.  The Rajasthan Right to Hearing Bill, 2012 and Rajasthan Transparency in Public Procurement Bill, 2012 were passed in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly during the last budget session. 
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,’’, said the chief minister. 
Gehlot said that 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 com
mon-man is made aware about it and makes the most of it,’’ he said, calling upon NGOs and activists to help publicise the right provided to the common man. 
“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,’’ said Gehlot. 
When queries were raised regarding proper implementation, Gehlot said that statements about poor implementation were becoming common in the state. ``Repeatedly it is being said that while the state budget is good, it does not reach the people. However, those making such comments are themselves not connected to the public,’’ said Gehlot.

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