The Uttar Pradesh government has recently provided clarification on the classification of 'Very Important Persons' (VIPs) in the process of forwarding complaints against public servants. Notable individuals like former MLAs and MPs will no longer hold VIP status when submitting complaint letters against public servants, indicating a shift in the government's approach to handling such grievances.
As per the issued government order, only currently serving MPs and MLAs, along with chairpersons of constitutional bodies, will be recognized as VIPs in this context. Rajesh Pratap Singh, the special secretary of personnel, emphasized, "Sitting MPs and MLAs alone will be considered VIPs. Additionally, sitting chairpersons of various constitutional bodies will also be counted as VIPs." Anyone not falling into these categories will be required to submit an affidavit to verify their identity when forwarding a complaint through a letter.
The state government had established provisions in 1997 for addressing complaints against government officers and employees from various sources. The recent order reiterates these rules, stating that before taking any action on a complaint letter from a VIP, it is essential to inform the concerned VIP and confirm that the letter is signed by them, expressing satisfaction with the charges outlined.
For complaints from other sources, the rules mandate obtaining an affidavit and sufficient proof for verifying the complainant before initiating any action on the grievance.
Previously, the lack of clear categorization led to confusion in disposing of complaints received through letters from both current and former MPs, MLAs, ex-ministers, and members of constitutional bodies.
Special Secretary Rajesh Pratap Singh explained, "The government issued the clarification due to frequent internal correspondence seeking clarity on whether a complaint from a particular dignitary would be treated as one from a VIP and disposed of accordingly." Now, with the clarification, only sitting MPs, MLAs, and heads of constitutional bodies will be considered VIPs for addressing complaint letters against government officials.
While the intention of the recent changes is to eliminate ambiguity, prioritize current officeholders, and redefine the protocol for filing complaints against public servants, some confusion remains. One official noted, "The new order lacks clarity on whether sitting MLCs will be treated as VIPs or not. Additionally, there is a discrepancy in the translation of the term 'Samvaidhanik nikayo' in Hindi, provided in the bracket as 'statutory body,' which should be 'constitutional body,' potentially causing further confusion."
(With Agency Inputs)