All central and state government officers have been asked to follow norms in dealing with communications from MPs and MLAs or face action, according to an official order.
Chief Secretaries of all states/union territories have been asked to sensitise officials with regard to their duties and obligations in so far as the movement of Members of Parliament (MPs) in general and more particularly during Parliament sessions, it said. The move comes after instances on violation of protocol norms laid in the existing guidelines were noticed by the government.
The Members of Parliament and State Legislatures, as the accredited representatives of the people, occupy a very important place in our democratic set-up, the Personnel Ministry said in the order.
In connection with their duties, they often find it necessary to seek information from the ministries/departments of the government of India or the state governments, or make suggestions for their consideration or ask for interviews with the officers, it said.
The guidelines concerning official dealings between administration and members of Parliament and state legislatures have been issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and being reiterated from time to time.
The provisions of the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure regarding prompt disposal of communications from MPs have also been reiterated from time to time, it said. However, keeping in view the instances of occasional non-observance of the guidelines, a need was also felt by the Committee of Privileges of the Lok Sabha for consolidating and reiterating the existing instructions. Accordingly, revised comprehensive guidelines were issued.
Therefore, all the ministries/departments are once again requested to ensure that instructions issued by the Personnel Ministry are followed by all officials concerned, both in letter and spirit, the order said, adding that “violation of these guidelines will be viewed seriously”. According to the existing guidelines, communications received from a Member of Parliament should be attended to promptly. “Government servants should show courtesy and consideration to Members of Parliament and State Legislatures,” according to the guidelines.