advertise here


Administrative delay - Unchecked?

The veteran Indian singer Kishore Kumar sang in Amar Prem a song titled "Chingari koi bhadke..." wherein, all stanzas end with relevant and thoughtful rhetorical questions. These questions have lively implications in the current Political and Administrative scenario in our country. Unfortunately, the questions discussed in the Indian Parliament have also become 'rhetorical' to a significant extent. It is said that 'justice delayed is justice denied' but what about administrative delays?

There is no law dealing explicitly with the punishments for wrongs done due to administrative delays in India. The latest reported scam unearthed in the allocation of 2G spectrum costs the nation close to Rs. 1.76 lakh crore (US$ 390 billion). This is more than half of the country's current total Revenue Deficit (3.5 lakh crore). This is a gross loss of revenue to the Government. This colossal amount have inflated the kitties of corporate giants and sooner or later it is going to percolate to the people who are reeling under loss of jobs and high inflation in food prices (still above 8% at WPI). So, it should be no surprise to learn about tax-blows in the next quarter when the FM presents Budget 2011. Anyways, people have to bear this loss in the long term which happened primarily due to administrative delay. In other words, this could have been avoided to a great extent had the administration been acting in the 'collective interest of the nation'.

A report says that Prime Ministers' Office was informed about the misappropriations in 2G spectrum auction about two years ago. However, the PMO can simply escape by saying that it forwarded the case to Ministry of Commerce and Industries which could escape by admitting that it forwarded the information to the Ministry of Law. Then, Ministry of Law forwarded it to Ministry of Home Affairs which issued directions to the 'concerned people' at 'appropriate levels' to issue notices to the accused parties. As a result, no action was taken to save people's money going into corporate kitties until the media started lamenting at the spilled milk. The whole thing took the Union Government exactly 23 months, that is from November 2008 to October 2010. Why did Rajiv Gandhi introduce computers then? Why all other decisions are taken quite well in-time and delay happens only in decisions which have bearing on the stomach of the people?

We have incidences of the Public Servants being fined for causing losses due to administrative delay in furnishing information demanded under RTI. Albeit, such provisions are not explicitly mentioned in the law and remain a matter of jurisdiction of Civil Courts. In such a case, what should be an ideal limit of administrative delay in the important affairs? The absence of law, in other words, gives a legal space to the wrong-doers besides providing an easy and safe escape. This is how the Union Government, PMO and the Chief Vigilant Commissioner are trying to escape because the law gives space for them to do so. There can be a set of standards evolved to differentiate activities, time-frame for action and penalties. A refining is needed in all the laws dealing with the endeavor of the State to provide peaceful living to the citizens, so as to guarantee time-bound actions taken by the administration. This can be one of the initiatives to ensure limits of administrative delays. If the limits cannot be ensured to the system, then it surely cannot ensured for the mutiny too.


Post a Comment

Leave a comment

© kunjmann. Powered by Blogger.

Copyright © 2010 • kunjmann • Design by Dzignine