Sunday, 29 July 2012

Right to Service Act-framing rules-suggestions

Note: Kerala becomes the 12th state in the country to have a Right to Service Act. It has been reported in the media that a committee has been constituted under an additional chief secretary to draft the rules for the implementation of the Act. This blog is a copy of a suggestion submitted for consideration by the Committee. The suggestion may look silly to casual readers but those who have approached a public servant ever would know.

from:     Ravindran P M
date:     Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 8:08 AM
subject:     Right to Service Act-framing rules-suggestions

This suggestion is based on a report in the Malayala Manorama of 28 Jul 2012 that Ms Nivedita P Haran, Additional Chief Secretary is heading a committee to draft the rules for the Right to Service Act.

From what I understand about this Act as reported in the media, there is a loaded condition for getting the services under this Act- that is 'if the application is complete in all respects....'. Now what makes this loaded against the citizen is that even now the major hurdle faced by citizens is the  number of times he is made to visit the service provider due to flimsy observations made each time- like the i not being dotted the first time, and the t not being crossed the second time and so on until the citizen applicant is forced to grease palms. And if the palm is greased none of these or even graver shortcomings are taken cognisance of.

Hence the following suggestion is made for consideration by the Committee.

Every application should be received and receipt acknowledged. The service provider should intimate all the deficiencies to the applicant in the receipt itself. The applicant should be allowed to resubmit the application after correcting all these deficiencies immediately or submit a fresh application later with all these deficiencies corrected, without any additional fees.

Provided that the applicant will not be held responsible for any deficiencies in the original application that had not been indicated to the applicant and hence remain uncorrected.

Yours truly

P M Ravindran
Tel: 0491-2576042

Monday, 16 July 2012


This is a complaint I had given to Mr Oommen Chandy, CM, Kerala in person on 30 Jun 2012.

P M Ravindran
2/18, 'Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-678003
Tele: 0491-2576042; E-mail:

File: Comp/cmk-pgredress-300612                                                                                                                 30 Jun 2012

Mr Oommen Chandy                          In person, at Palakkad on 30/6/12
Chief Minister, Kerala        


1.       Given overleaf is the copy of an e mail I had sent to you on 21 Jun 2012. I am yet to get a reply. But I am afraid there isn’t much to hope for in the reply that would be drafted and sent by a clerk- may be an LDC, UDC or IAS. As I have mentioned in my e mail, the Constitution has unfortunately not prescribed any qualification, qualities or experience for our law makers. But I am sure that 62 years after we have given to ourselves this Constitution, our representatives in the law making bodies are adequately competent not be taken for a ride by their men Friday.

2.       Hope you will understand that nobody can cheat everybody all the time. In a democracy the elected representatives have to be responsible for every failure of every organ of the state, whether at the individual level the defaulter in providing government services is a politician, bureaucrat (includes everybody from the Village Assistant to the Cabinet Secretary) or judge.

3.       It is my experience that those complaining about public servants are being given idiotic responses by the designated authorities and made to run around in circles. I doubt if any of the complaints I had addressed to you personally had ever been seen by you. It is this doubt that I am trying to clear by approaching you directly.

4.       I hope that the complaints that I, as a concerned citizen, have submitted to you, will be looked into seriously by you and necessary action will be taken to ensure that the defaulting public servants are dealt with in a deterrant manner and services of the government will be delivered promptly to the citizens.

5.       I have heard of a play called ‘Ningalenne kammunist aakki‘ (You made me a communist). It is my sincere hope that you will not necessitate replaying that drama with the title ‘Ningalenne maoist aakki‘ (You made me a maoist!)

Yours truly,

(P M Ravindran)

Copy to:

Mr Shafi Parambil                      For necessary follow up action.
MLA, Palakkad             

from:       Ravindran P M
cc: ,
date:       Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 8:41 AM
subject:  Fwd: CM's public contact program-should stop this gimmick

Mr Oommen Chandy

1. Refer the following documents:

1.1.My complaint reference Comp/cm contpgm-ksic-221111 dated 22 Nov 2011 registered as No 4516 on the same day at the cell set up for the purpose of co-ordinating the activities related to your mass contact program at Palakkad on 08 Dec 2012.

1.2. My reminder through e mail dated 4 May 2012, which is forwarded herewith, and which has been acknowledged from on 9 May 2012 and assigned a complaint No 9992/2012.

1.3. Chief Minister's Public Grievance Redressal Cell, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram letter No 9992/CMPGRC/SK/2012/GAD dated 10/5/2012 (Copy attached for ready reference)

1.4. General Admn (Co-ordination) Dept letter No 90105/Cdn.5/11/GAD dated 1/6/2012,posted on 8/6/12 and received by me only on 13/6/12. (Copy attached for ready reference)

1.5. My take on the fraud being perpetuated by you in the name of public contact programs (attached)

2. Right at the outset I have to place on record the fact that every response I have received/not received from the public authorities under your charge indicate that those employed to assist you- whether they are LDCs, UDCs or IAS- are competent to be only scavengers in the society. These good-for-nothing lot do not seem to know how to even acknowledge receipt of a document. Just for records, it should start with a reference to the document received and when such a document has a file reference and date both should be quoted. For example,
1. Reference your letter/complaint No a/b/c/d dated dd/mm/yy.
2. Receipt of the same is acknowledged.

You can see that none of the three documents quoted in paras 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 above have followed this basic concept of communication. The blame has to be placed squarely on the IAS (officers?) who are basically supposed to be well trained clerks, with the skills- answering comprehension exercise questions and making briefs- acquired during middle school honed at exorbitant cost to the exchequer!

3. Next, as I have mentioned in the e mail quoted at para 1.2 above, while I had received totally unsatisfactory responses from the O/o the District Collector and The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Palakkad no there had been absolutely no respsonse from the KSIC or KSCDRC.

4. Now even after the reminder through e mail, the response of the GAD, quoted at para 1.4 above reiterate my allegation at para 2 above. But I have to acknowledge that even scavengers cannot be idiots.

5. Coming to the idiocy of the response of the Secretary, GAD, please go through Sections 2(e), 15(3), 17, 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the RTI Act.

6. The Constitution has unfortunately not prescribed any qualification, qualities or experience for our law makers. But I am sure that 62 years after we have given to ourselves this Constitution, our representatives in the law making bodies are adequately competent not be taken for a ride by their men Friday.

7. I do hope to receive a responsible reply from you and I hope 30 days is not an unduly short duration within which to expect such a reply.

Yours truly

P M Ravindran

Note: The response of the Secretary, GAD, highlighted in para 5 of the e mail above, is that the information commissioners are constitutional authorities and the govt cannot do anything in complaints against them! The RTI Act has specific provisions on how to remove ICs on grounds of incompetence and also provisions that mandate the Govt to make rules for implementation of the RTI Act, which obviously includes rules for the functioning of the information commissions/commissioners also!