Lucknow, Feb 1 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh government has issued a clarification regarding the categorisation of ‘Very Important Persons’ (VIPs) for the purpose of forwarding complaints against public servants.
Former MLAs, MPs and many other notable individuals will no longer enjoy VIP status when forwarding complaint letters against public servants, signalling a shift in the treatment of such grievances by the government.
An order issued in this regard by the government specifies that only sitting MPs and MLAs as well as chairpersons of constitutional bodies will be considered VIPs in this context.
“I am directed to clarify that sitting MPs and MLAs alone will be counted as VIPs. Additionally, sitting chairpersons of various constitutional bodies will also be counted as VIPs,” special secretary, personnel, Rajesh Pratap Singh said, adding that any person other than categorized as VIPs will need to submit an affidavit to verify the complainant while forwarding a complaint through letter.
In 1997, the state government made provisions for the disposal of complaints received from various sources against government officers and employees.
According to these rules as reiterated in the order, before initiating any action on the complaint letter received from a VIP, it is necessary to inform the VIP concerned and get verified that the complaint letter is signed by him/her only and he/she is satisfied about the charges levelled in the letter.
In cases of complaints received from other sources, the rules mandate taking an affidavit from the complainant and adequate proof for verification of the complainant before any action on the grievance is launched.
However, till now there was no categorisation of who will be counted as a VIP for the purpose of treatment of a complaint against a public servant because of which a lot of confusion prevailed while disposing complaints that government used to receive through letters from sitting as well as ex-MPs, MLAs, former ministers, members of constitutional bodies and other notable persons.
“The government has issued the clarification because a lot of internal correspondence often had to be made to seek clarity on whether a particular complaint received from a particular dignitary will be treated as one received from a VIP and disposed accordingly,” said special secretary, personnel, Rajesh Pratap Singh.
“Now, it has been clarified that only sitting MPs, MLAs and heads of constitutional bodies will be considered as VIPs for the disposal of complaint letters against government officers and employees,” he said.
While the new changes do aim at doing away with ambiguity, placing current officeholders at the forefront of the process and reshaping the protocol for filing complaints against public servants, ironically the recent clarification itself has left some confusion and may need to further clarification.
“In the new order, there is no clarity on whether sitting MLCs will be treated as VIPs or not,” pointed out an official.
“Also, the translation of the term ‘Samvaidhanik nikayo’ provided in the bracket in the order in Hindi is ‘statutory body’ which is not correct, and it should have been ‘constitutional body’. This will again create some confusion,” he added.