The Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011


The Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011, is a significant legislative initiative aimed at ensuring the prompt delivery of services to the residents of the state. Enacted with the objective of streamlining service delivery, the Act outlines various provisions, definitions, and procedures to uphold the right to service for eligible individuals. Let's delve into the key aspects of this act to understand its implications on public services in Himachal Pradesh.

Key Provisions

  • Short Title and Commencement: The Act, formally known as the Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011, reflects the state government's commitment to ensuring prompt and efficient public services. It officially came into force on the 24th day of September, 2011, marking a significant milestone in the state's administrative framework.
  • Commencement Date: Notably, the Act retroactively came into force on September 24, 2011, underscoring the government's commitment to timely and effective governance.
  • Ensuring Citizen Rights: The Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011, plays a crucial role in safeguarding citizens' rights by establishing a framework that guarantees the timely delivery of public services.This legislative framework is not confined to specific regions but extends its influence across the entire expanse of the State of Himachal Pradesh. 

Defining Key Terms

Definitions. - In this Act, the following terms shall have the meanings assigned to them, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "designated officer" means an officer who has been appointed to offer the services under section 3;

(b) "eligible person" means an individual who is eligible for the services notified under this Act;

(c) "first appellate authority" refers to an officer who has been notified as such under section 3;

(d) "notification" refers to a notification that has been published in the Official Gazette;

(e) "Official Gazette" refers to the Rajpatra, Himachal Pradesh;

(f) "prescribed" refers to the rules that have been prescribed under this Act;

(g) "right to service" refers to the right of an individual to receive the service within the stipulated time limit as per section 4;

(h) "service" or "public service" refers to any service that has been notified under section 3;

(i) "second appellate authority" refers to the State Information Commission that has been notified as such under section 3;

(j) "State Government" refers to the Government of Himachal Pradesh;

(k) "stipulated time limit" refers to the maximum time limit that has been notified to provide the service by the designated officer or to decide the appeal by the appellate authorities under section 3; and

(l) "State Information Commission" refers to the State Information Commission that has been constituted under sub-section (1) of section 15 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (22 of 2005).

Notification of services, designated officers, first appellate authority, second appellate authority and stipulated time limits by the State Government. - The State Government may, from time to time, notify the services, designated officers, first appellate authority, second appellate authority, and stipulated time limits for the purpose of this Act.

Right to Obtain Service Within Stipulated Time Limit

Timely Service Delivery

The designated officer plays a pivotal role in ensuring the timely delivery of services outlined in section 3 of the Act. This section emphasizes the commitment to providing services within a specified time frame, underscoring the significance of prompt and efficient service delivery.

Providing Services in Stipulated Time Limit

Application Receipt and Acknowledgment

Upon the designated officer or authorized personnel's receipt of an application for a notified service, the stipulated time limit commences. This emphasizes the importance of promptly acknowledging the application, setting the stage for a streamlined process.

Timely Action by Designated Officer

Within the stipulated time limit, the designated officer is mandated to either provide the requested service or reject the application. This dual responsibility ensures a decisive and swift response to the applicant's needs.

Reasons for Rejection and Communication Protocol

In the event of application rejection, the designated officer is obligated to communicate transparently with the applicant. This includes detailing the reasons for rejection, specifying the period for appealing the decision, and providing information about the appellate authority. This transparent communication process is designed to foster understanding and adherence to the statutory framework.

Right to Appeal

The Himachal Pradesh Public Service Guarantee Act, 2011, establishes a robust framework to ensure the timely delivery of public services and holds public servants accountable for any deficiencies in service. One of the critical components of this legislation is the right to appeal, providing recourse for individuals facing service rejections or delays.
Should the designated officer fail to comply with the stipulated time limit, the Act grants the applicant the right to appeal to the first appellate authority. This ensures a checks-and-balances mechanism, holding designated officers accountable for adhering to the prescribed timelines.

First Appellate Authority

Filing an Appeal:
  • Any person whose application is rejected under sub section(2) of section 5 or service is not provided within the stipulated time may file an appeal to the first appellate authority.
  • The appeal must be filed within thirty days from the date of rejection or the expiry of the stipulated time limit.
  • The first appellate authority has the discretion to admit an appeal after the thirty-day period if satisfied with a valid cause for the delay.
Appeal Process:
  • The first appellate authority may order the designated officer to provide the service within a specified period or reject the appeal.
  • The appeal under sub-section(1) must be disposed of within thirty days of receipt, or within an extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days, with reasons recorded in writing.
Second Appellate Authority

Filing a Second Appeal:
  • If the designated officer does not comply with the first appellate authority's order of providing the service under sub-section(2), the applicant can file a second appeal to the second appellate authority.
  • The second appeal must be filed within sixty days from the date of the first appellate authority's decision under sub-section(2) of section 6.
Powers of Second Appellate Authority:
  • The second appellate authority may order the designated officer to provide the service within a specified period or reject the appeal.
  • The first and second appellate authorities have powers equivalent to a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, during proceedings.

Penalties and Recommendations

Penalty for Non-compliance:
  • If the second appellate authority finds the designated officer at fault, they may impose a lump sum penalty ranging from one thousand to five thousand rupees.
  • Compensation to the appellant may be ordered from the penalty imposed, not exceeding the penalty amount.
Disciplinary Action:
  • If the designated officer consistently fails to discharge duties, the second appellate authority may recommend disciplinary action under applicable service rules.

Protection and Jurisdiction

  • Actions taken in good faith under this Act are protected, and no legal proceedings can be initiated against individuals involved.

Bar of Jurisdiction

  • Orders made by designated officers, first appellate authority, or second appellate authority cannot be challenged in any court or before any officer or authority, except as expressly provided in the Act.

Power to make rules

The State Government has the authority to create rules to implement the provisions of this Act, as per the following guidelines:

1. The rules can be made by publishing a notice in the Official Gazette.
2. Every rule created under this Act must be presented before the State Legislative Assembly for a period of ten days, either in one session or multiple successive sessions.
3. If the Legislative Assembly agrees to modify the rule or feels that the rule should not be made, the rule will only be enforced in the modified form or not enforced at all.
4. Any changes made to the rule or its cancellation will not affect the validity of any action taken under that rule before the annulment.

12. Power to remove difficulties:

If there is any difficulty in implementing the provisions of this Act, the State Government can issue an order to remove the difficulty. This order should not be in conflict with the provisions of this Act. However, it should be noted that this order cannot be issued after a period of two years from the date of commencement of this Act.

VALIDATION) ACT, 2019 (ACT NO. 18 OF 2019)

According to the Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2019 (Act No. 18 of 2019), a validation section has been added. This section states that regardless of any law or court order, any actions taken or notifications and rules made under the principal Act on or after 24th September, 2011 will be considered valid. They will be deemed to have always been valid, as if the principal Act was in force on that day. Therefore, they cannot be challenged on the basis of any defects in the commencement of the principal Act before any court, tribunal, commission, or authority.


The Himachal Pradesh Public Services Guarantee Act, 2011, stands as a robust framework for ensuring the timely delivery of public services. By defining key terms, establishing transparent notification processes, and implementing a structured appeal mechanism, the Act strengthens the citizens' right to services while holding designated officers accountable. This legislative initiative is a commendable step towards fostering efficiency and accountability in public service delivery in Himachal Pradesh.

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