The Maharashtra government has decided that only those complaints which will carry names of the complainant and required details will be entertained while those with pseudonyms, false signatures and vague ones will be ignored.
“A complaint that does not have the complainant’s name and his contact address will not be looked into and any information or complaint stated in the letter will not be entertained. Such complaints will merely be filed away,” a recently issued circular by the General Administration department said.
Complaints made against any government employee that are “vague” in nature will also be ignored and no action will be initiated based on it, the circular said.
An official from the GAD said complaints that are specific in nature will be looked into only after the competent authority verifies the identity of the complainant.
“Whenever the government receives a complaint that can be investigated, a competent authority will get in touch with the complainant to verify the identity of the complainant. After a period of 15 days, a reminder to identify himself will be sent to the person. Despite the reminder, if there is no response, the complaint will be termed as a ‘pseudonymous complaint’ and shall be filed away,” the official said.
The official said that in case where a complaint can be investigated, a copy of the complaint concealing the identity of the complainant will be sent to the agency concerned for investigation.
Activists have, however, expressed their displeasure on the government’s move and said it only amounts to protecting the wrong doers.
“The state at least needs to conduct a preliminary investigation based on an anonymous complaint. We are living in an environment where a lot of things are wrong. There is rampant corruption, delays, etc and in such circumstances we need an investigation into complaints,” former Chief Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said.
“There are lots of cases where citizens are scared of coming out in the open for fear of being threatened or asked to take their complaints back. The government needs to consider this. It seems as if the government is doing a favour on citizens by looking into their complaints,” he said.