CITIZEN AND ADMINISTRATION:
Citizens and administration are interconnected and interdependent as the job of public administration is to protect and provide services to citizens and they receive their salaries and funds from the taxes the citizens pay. And this relationship has come all the more in the limelight and importance due to the concept of welfare state.
There is generally a hostility between the two due to the rigid and high handed behaviour of public officials and the illiteracy of the public regarding their rights and political happenings that leads to the alienation between the two.
Channels of redressal for grieving citizens:
1)Redressal through parliament/legislature: It is the same as discussed above under Legislative control and accountability topic.
2) Judicial remedies: Same as discussed above under Judicial control and accountability topic. Apart from that a special mention should be given to Public Interest Litigation (PIL) where citizens who have been denied their rights due to any reason and maladministration but cannot approach the courts for relief due to social and economic constraints can approach through a group or NGO on their behalf.
3) Administrative tribunals(special court appointed by the govt): Central Administrative Tribunal deals with grievances of public or government employees(All India Services) and their service matters whereas the State & Joint Administrative Tribunals deals with employees of State public services. The Industrial Tribunals,Income Tax Tribunals,Railway rates tribunals etc deal with citizen’s grievances concerned with that subject matter.
4) Lok Adalats have been set up to deal with ordinary grievances of citizens against the administration like pensions,utilities,telephones,compensation,etc and if the parties are not happy with the decision then they can approach the courts of law.
To deal with administrative corruption:
i) Central Vigilance Commission: It is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner and deals with grievances of citizens involving corruption and lack of integrity on the part of governmental servants.
It takes into matters even complaints against the Union govt who is ruling and is to set up an enquiry or investigation through the concerned administrative Ministry/dept vigilance officers into the matter or ask the CBI to take charge. Complaints can come directly from grieving individuals as well s from other sources like press reports,audit reports,parliamentary committee reports ,etc. Each Ministry/dept has a chief vigilance officer and he is responsible for coordinating and guiding the activities of other vigilance officers of his ministry/dept and report to the Commission from time to time. The role of the CVC is advisory in nature.
ii) Ombudsman: Appointed by the legislature and deals with complaints made against the legislature or govt. In India its forms are known as ‘LOKPAL’ at the central level and ‘LOKAYUKTA’ at the State level. The LOKPAL is to deal with all complaints of corruption made by any citizen against the ruling govt and the Union/Central Ministers as well as State Ministers regarding any action taken by them and it should not be done more than five years ago. After the investigation is complete,the report will be submitted to the Prime Minister(where complaint is against Union Minister) or a Chief Minister ( Complaint against State Minister) as the case maybe. If the complaint is frivolous and based on malafide then it can be rejected and the complainant penalised or tried in a court of law.
However,sadly this bill is yet not passed in both the Houses due to obvious reasons.
The LOKAYUKTA deals with State level corruption complaints against State Ministers. The setting up of Lokayukta offices in the states is sparse and still many do not have one.
GRIEVANCE CELLS IN VARIOUS MINISTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS:
For speedy justice many ministries and departments of govt n centre as well as state have set up grievance cells headed by a grievance officer.