The Orissa Public Services Act, 2012 will demoralize the minified Executive and create Chaos

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Punishing errant public servants for non-delivery of expected service is a method that was first conceived by Biju Patnaik when he was eager to shift responsibility for his misrule to the employees.

Once in power, Biju was misusing his position to loot the State and the aggrieved people of Orissa were refusing him mandate in the next election and thereafter, to avenge his betrayal.

When for the second and last time he had occupied power in Orissa, sure as he was that he cannot give anything than misrule, and conscious of the wrath that the people would express over his misrule, he had contrived a new method to escape.

And that method was known as ‘Mada Tattwa’, meant to physically assault the employee who does not oblige.

Even in public meetings he was openly instigating people to beat up officials as for them the people were not getting good governance despite all his endeavors.

It had created such chaos that employees of the very department under his control had used the ‘Mada Tattwa’ on Biju in the Secretariat on May 06, 1993 for his continuous misrule.
Biju had narrowly escaped a head injury as a journalist present on the spot saved him from being hit on the head by an earthen plant container that an employee, in conniption, had thrown at him. It was national news; so also his ‘Mada Tattwa’.

Taking the cue, the political government of Madhya Pradesh also wanted to shift the responsibility of misrule to the government employees. But they avoided Biju’s method of physical assault, lest the misruled people apply the same on the CM or Ministers. So, instead of ‘Mada’ (physical assault), the M.P. government provided for legal penalties against the employees for non-delivery of service in time, under the design of Right to Public Services Act enforced on 18 July 2010, which was the first of its kind in India.

After MP, with people perishing as plutocracy has engulfed India, politicians in power in various provinces that are working as facilitators for various industrial/corporate houses, in order to project the employees as means of misrule, have also notified / promulgated Public Service Act in their respective states. These provinces are: Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

But nowhere, the Act has been launched – in fact, no Law is ever launched with fanfare in specifically convened meetings – by the Chief Minister of the State, as it is in Orissa.

Begun with 34 public services under seven departments, the Orissa Right to Public Service Act 2012 is projected to cover 100 services, where delay in delivering the required service, would enable the service seeker to demand compensation. The employee dealing with the same would be penalized for the delay or denial of service.

In launching the Act on January 2, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who heads the BJD by virtue of being the son of Biju Patnaik, described the day as a “historic day” as this Act “provides for imposing penalties on the service providers for defaulting or causing undue delay in delivery of service”.

In a sense, it is a welcome venture. It will, to certain extent, help the general public in asserting their right to get quick service.

But, despite this law, there shall be delay in delivery of services. All the government offices are presently suffering from severe shortage of staff. When workload is highly increasing, the executive is shrinking in size. Sanctioned posts are not being filled up. Recruitment is rare. Without adequate staff, it would be impossible for the severely minified executive to comply with all the requisitions in a fixed time. Threatened with legal prosecution and penalty for delay in complying with requisitions, the staff is bound to feel demoralized.

In fact, it will shift the responsibility for misrule from the politicians in control of administration to the lower executive and give boost to a climate of litigation against the employees. So, it will help the compradors in power to escape public wrath for their misrule, when attention of the suffering public will stay focused on inability of lower executive to deliver good governance.

Therefore, instead of acting beneficial, this Act will cause a lot of harm to administration. Firstly, it will convince the people that the employees are means of misrule, and secondly, the provision for penalty in this Act, will keep the employees constantly intimidated.

This Act has been enacted without application of collective legislative wisdom in the Assembly, because the Opposition has not participated in its passing. Had the Chief Minister been honest in politics, the Opposition should have been associated with discussion on the Bill and the same could have been tested on the matrix of Opposition wisdom. But it was rushed through the Assembly when the Opposition was in the well of the House in protest against strangulation of the Congress voice of protest against maladministration by use of the Police. Had it been put under rest till the Opposition was ready for debate, the necessity of adequate staffing before enforcement of this Act could have been stressed upon and legislative intention could have been distinctly defined. But it has not happened.

Therefore, it is essential that the vigilant public should ask the Government to keep this injurious Act in hold till offices are adequately staffed. Otherwise, Orissa shall be thrown into a new wave of litigation that would be too chaotic and overwhelming for the administration to maintain normalcy.

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  1. A BIG AGREED in Toto with the Article ;
    But I will not subscribe to inefficiency in administration and the work thereby exclusively to the shortage of staff (of course, its a fact ), rather it speaks a lot about the QUALITY of the most LAW MAKERS sitting in position affecting the system and guiding the GOVT i.e. both in opposition as well as supposition too.

  2. The news media are the mouth piece of dumb , deaf people of the nation. They are functioning real representatives of deprived , distressed , depressed and desperate mass who are unable to ventilate their grievances before the authority. News media collects and carries the story of pains ,agony , sufferings of deprives mass from them and make pressed before the authority in open forum of highlight of public grazing .
    There fore ,the fundamental right of the freedom of the press implicate in the right of the freedom of speech and expression , is essential for the political liberty and proper functioning of democracy.
    Hence American press commission has said ” freedom of press is an essential element of political liberty. it takes and guides public opinion.
    Therefore the media is ought to give priority , stress , importance to the opinion of public at large instead some class of public at comfort and luxury , busy in exploitation of public revenue , tax amount . The tax which is not even exempted to a beggar while he consumes a staple food item.for his survival , existence .

    On the other hand this democracy is ruled by law , but neither by prime minister , nor by president , nor by chief minister . They are mere paid public servant . The democracy is of the people ,by the people and for the people. Title , ownership of this democracy is vested to the general public at large. The so called public functionaries are only managers of the state , people at large.

    Every body’s business is nobody’s business. Crowd of men can not catch even a rat . Hence we are sending ,electing representatives in order to look after the management of state as manager not as a master.
    we elect representatives to frame law , engaged some persons paying salary to execute the law ,and entrusted some to interpret law. Peon to president of India are public servants , thus part of organ of executive.

    We, the general public do subscribe the salary of these people so we we are deserved to collect service from them . It is distressed cry in the wilderness of the mass that despite they take salary , remuneration ,perquisites , facilities in course of service as well as after period of retirement they do not serve heartly and solely in the cause and interest of general public .
    On the other side . They are no more weakened classed mass . They are in other words under the shelter of ruling authority . They do administer the common man. It is open secret and universal truth that in guise of rule of law , administration , administration of justice they loot people like any thing .

    Time has rolled and reached in such a stage and juncture that the cry of rape victims turned the distressed cry in the wilderness , though they are paid a lot with comparison to general public irrespective of their job and duty. . A clerk is getting near about 30 thousand Rs. as gross salary . Is it paid from the pocket of CHIEF MINISTER or chief secretary ? We the people pay from our pocket . Then can we not deserve to get service from them ? Can we not ask time bound service ?

    Do people not know that the most of bureaucrats on whom the time bound service imposed are part of , parcel of , organ of respective courts ? Are they not functioning behaving as incarnation of god ,lord while discharging their power not duty as bench clerk of respective executive court ? Has any person recalled while perceived the experience from them while being party to a dispute ? If any act passed in order to collect some time bound work for the general common people then what is wrong? Is it not known that bureaucrats in one side functions as executive authority and other side as court executive magistrate ?

    If this website is belonged to and functioned as mouth piece of any union of govt. employees , then I do express unconditional apology , pardon for my expressing unfavorable truth as a gesture of bursting of emotional conception and feeling. from my heart and soul .

    This article is more concerned to the welfare of bureaucrats not for common man.

    • Dear Sri Swain,
      The “emotional conception” that you have hinted to has perhaps stymied fine-tuning the comment leading to your outburst amidst other avoidable mistakes that article in question “is more concerned to the welfare of bureaucrats, not for common man”. To help you to review your comment, I have allowed your version appear unedited in matter of its language.

      However, I deem it proper to say that had you been able to study this site, you could have seen that there is no stronger sentinel of Orissa’s common man than this site. I would really be happy to know if there is any.

      Yes, this site is certainly pro-employees; because it is the site of the common man, of the wage-earners, of the exploited, of the victims of plutocracy.

      This site is certainly pro-employees; because the employees belong to the working class.

      I thank you for the time given to this article.

      The article in question is one that questions the motive of a law that the escapists politicians in power have created in a rash design to hoodwink their masters – the people – in the matter of accountability.

      Bad governance comes not from the employees, but from political persons in power who bag votes on promises to give good governance; but misuse the employees and act as compradors and corrupt the administration and thereby give a governance that goes from bad to worse.

      These compradors in power use various methods to shift responsibility for the bad governance to the government employees. The Orissa Rights to Services Act, 2012 is one such method.

      There is severe staff shortage in every office in Orissa as the compradors in power have kept away from fulfilling vacancies under foreign pressure. By barring of jurisdiction of courts in matter of any order under the act in question, the government has pushed the employees into a climate of intimidation which will shatter whatever little semblance of balanced functioning is yet available in government offices. The State is bound to be thrown into anarchy and chaos in days to come as higher-ups will be making the lower cadres scapegoats in every sphere.

      I will welcome if the points raised in the article are genuinely countered, so that further debate may proceed.
      Thanks again,
      Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

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