Archive for February 2013


The Karnataka Guarantee of Services Act, 2011 or SAKALA was introduced with the aim to guarantee the delivery of citizen services in a definite span of time. While obtaining services like acquiring certificates, land record extracts building plan approvals was highly time consuming, SAKALA aims to curb the same by giving a time frame within which services may be obtained and imposing a penalty for failure. SAKALA, today has over 150 civil services covered under its provisions. Currently applications under the Right to Information (RTI) is also slated to be included under the SAKALA. The BBMP, BWSSB, CMC, Town Planning Authority, Revenue Department etc are all under the SAKALA.

Under the Act, every citizen has a right to obtain the civil services mentioned in the Schedule of the Act within the specified time. The onus of ensuring the same is with Public Officer of the concerned department and his subordinates. The time period begins to run from the date of making a valid and complete application. Every applicant is provided with an application number and he may monitor the status of his application.

The officer in charge or his authorized subordinate shall provide the service or reject it for reasons that have to be recorded in writing. The applicant shall be informed of the rejection of the application, along with details of the Officer to whom he may prefer an appeal against a rejection. Under the Act, the concerned officer is liable to pay compensatory cost for failure to provide the service within the time frame. An aggrieved citizen whose application is rejected or who has not been provided the service within the stipulated tune may appeal to the competent authority within a period of 30 days from rejection or delay. The appellate authority may pass appropriate orders and my also award compensatory costs. A second appeal lies from such order within 60 days. A time frame is also prescribed for disposing off appeals.

For example- under the schedule to the Act, the time frame for obtaining a Khata Extract where all documents are available in electronic form in 3 days and the Designate Officer is the Assistant Revenue Officer. In case of a delay or a rejection, the competent authority to approach is the Assistant or Joint Commissioner for that zone, who shall pass an order within 15 days. If an applicant is still aggrieved he shall appeal to the Commissioner who has to pass an order within 30 days.

The Act does not intend to punish delays and defaults as misconduct by the concerned officer, but is with the intention to create and imbibe a culture of commitment towards duty and responsibility.

Authored by: Naqsha Biliangady, Advocate Mento Associates.