Delhi Govt directs Revenue Officials to hold Courts for general public grievances thrice a week

Delhi Government revenue officials will be available from 2.30 PM three days a week to hear citizens’ disputes that comes under the operation of Revenue Department.

Tehsildars, Sub-Divisional Magistrates (SDMs) and Revenue Deputy Commissioners have been directed to maintain fixed hours for organizing courts in their offices and to prioritize it over meetings and other engagements.

In an Official memorandum issued by the Delhi Govt, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays have been specified as the “mandatory court days” and the timing has been fixed from 2.30 PM till the end of office hours.

“All concerned authorities and departments are requested not to call the officers for any meeting, hearing, proceeding or inspection on the mentioned days and time,” read the memo.

“In Court hours, revenue officers are supposed to give time to the general public in their offices and try addressing their issues,” said a Senior Government Official. “In Delhi, the most common grievances relate to land disputes, demolition cases, documents such as certificates for income, caste, domicile, etc. It is a wide range of things.”

Currently, all revenue officers have their own court days and timings – the frequency and length of which often varies, said four SDMs.

They added that in some cases the rosters are prepared by each officer and circulated among subordinates. In other cases, the officials themselves decide their own court timings, keeping their superiors in the loop.

“But the Courts get disrupted – and often cancelled – when officers prioritise other engagements. Hence, it was important to direct other officials not to ring up or summon revenue officers for other engagements in the fixed hours. Also, the days were fixed for convenience of the public,” said a Sr Govt Official.

The office memorandum covers under its ambit revenue officers in the rank of Deputy Commissioners, District Magistrates, Additional Collectors, Additional District Magistrates, Revenue Assistants, Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Tehsildars and Executive Magistrates, Government Officials said.

The directions come months ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections likely to be scheduled for early next year.

Citizen welfare groups across the city have appreciated the move.

“It is a welcome initiative. Meeting revenue officers for grievances and disputes otherwise is a herculean task,” said Sunil Sareen, vice-president of a citizen forum in West Delhi’s Dwarka.

As per to Saurabh Gandhi, Secretary of a citizen forum that goes by the name United Residents of Delhi, said that inconsistent timings of Public Courts in revenue offices has been a big problem in Delhi. “And a bigger problem is frequent cancellation. This is a great move that way but one has to see if it can be implemented,” he said.

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