Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Bill, 2015: Features and Drawbacks

Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Bill, 2015: Features and Drawbacks

Question: Maharashtra Legislative Assembly passed the Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Bill,2015. Earlier, this Bill had been passed as an ordinance. Critically evaluate the Bill and discuss its main features.

- Maharashtra Legislative Assembly has recently passed the Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Bill, 2015

- The bill was passed in the absence of the Opposition

- It will be tabled in the Legislative Council of the state next.


- This bill gives citizens the capability to avail their rights with lower amounts of effort and cost

- This bill also leads the way for curbing corruption, and ensuring citizen empowerment and transparency

- It ensures time bound delivery of essential services at nominal charges

- As far as failure of delivery within the stipulated time, government employees will be penalised for default of sum ranging from INR 500 to 5000

- Numerous departments will have to identify important essential services to be offered under the Act to common man

- It also makes provision for the three tiered Appellate Authority with the first two tiers being Government Officials or Designated Officers and the third will be Right to Service Commission

- No civil court will have jurisdiction with regard to the matter the Appellate Authorities are empowered under the Act to adjudge

- Right to Service Commission will be headed by an ex civil servant or well known person from sector other than politics

- Commission comprises an autonomous body constituting chief commissioner and division level commissioners appointed by governor like information commissioners

- It also makes provision for the setting up of the State Public Services Delivery Committee to be led by the Chief Secretary and to recommend steps for efficient delivery of notified services to be taken by Public Authorities

- CM Fadnavis also announced services will be provided electronically and brought on e-Platform


- The Act is riddled with loopholes which will only serve to strengthen bureaucracy

- According to an ordinance of the Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Service Act, 160 services will be covered in the first phase under the Act

- There is no independent appellate mechanism under this Act

- Moreover, no provision is made for independent or impartial appellate mechanism, securing power in the hands of civil servants who will constitute the recruitment pool of chief commissioners

- The act holds that first and second appeals will be heard by working bureaucrats and third by a retired government servant

- The working of the bill is another area of contention; Section 4 of the Act stipulates that the Act is subject to legal, technical and financial feasibility given that every eligible person has the right to obtain public services in the state.

- Such terms are vague.

- Further, there is no provision of any compensation/cost if the applicant does not get the desired service in stipulated time

- Under Section 10 of the Act, penalty paid by the designated officer who shows a failure to deliver the service is missing

- If there is no fixed penalty provision in the act, civil authorities will minimise or remove it through notifications and circulars as was seen in the case of the RTI Act

Facts and Stats

- MP was the first state to implement Right to Guarantee of Public Services Act on 18th August, 2010

- Bihar was the second state to implement the legislation on 25th July, 2011

- Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan and HP are some of the states which have introduced similar legislation

- Similar legislation has been notified in states like Kerala, Karnataka and J&K
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