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Day 45 – Q 3.Citizen Charter is an ineffective and blunt instruments without legal enforceability. Comment.

3. Citizen Charter is an ineffective and blunt instruments without legal enforceability. Comment. 

नागरिक चार्टर कानूनी प्रवर्तन योग्यता के बिना एक अप्रभावी और धाररहित उपकरण है। टिप्पणी करें।


  • Define citizens charter
  • Write about legal status and issues involved
  • Utility of Citizens charter and suggested reforms
  • Conclusion


Citizen’s Charter is a document which represents a systematic effort to focus on the commitment of the Organisation towards its Citizens in respects of Standard of Services, Information, Choice and Consultation, Non-discrimination and Accessibility, Grievance Redress, Courtesy and Value for Money.  

This also includes expectations of the Organisation from the Citizen for fulfilling the commitment of the Organisation. Citizen’s Charter initiative not only covers the Central Government Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations but also the Departments/ Agencies of State Governments and UT Administrations.

Citizen charter and its effectiveness:

  • The Citizen’s Charter is not legally enforceable and, therefore, is non-justiciable.  However, it is a tool for facilitating the delivery of services to citizens with specified standards, quality and time frame etc. with commitments from the Organisation and its clients.
  • Citizen charter in itself cannot ensure a responsive and effective administration. Employees need to be trained, sensitized and deviant behaviour punished.
  • Business process re-structured with provision of mechanism for complaint redressal provided
  • They are nothing but pious statements of intention which do not contain any objective goals. Further they are drafted unilaterally by the organisation without involvement of stakeholders which is defeating the purpose of citizen charters.
  • It remains unreached to public due to the lack of awareness, budgetary support to departments is poor and updating citizen’s charter often takes a back seat.

However, its importance in public administration can be highlighted through the following points,

  • It ushers in a regime of transparency and openness.
  • It promotes good governance.
  • It incentivizes accountability in administration.
  • It is citizen-centric in nature, keeping in mind the needs of citizens.
  • Most importantly, it ensures better service quality, and grievance redressal.

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances has been supporting in improving the citizen’s charter of various government departments. Many states, for instance Odisha – (Odisha Right to Public Service Act- 2002) is in tandem with citizen’s charter which involves penal provisions as well. RTI Act adds a big strength to the basic intention behind citizen’s charter.

Way forward:

The ARC recommends the following in respect of the citizen’s charter for making it more effective:

  • Involving the citizens in the making of the charter.
  • Reward schemes to incentivise citizens’ initiative.
  • Be made more effective by stipulating the service level sand also the legal remedy in case the service is not provided.


Effective implementation would require a consultative process between those entrusted with framing and implementing the charter, along with that legal back up and education drive to create awareness would go a long way in making Citizen Charter a tool for better governance.

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