The Public Grievances Commission (PGC) was set up with the prior approval of the Central Government, Ministry of Home Affairs conveyed vide Ministry of Home Affairs, D.O. letter No. 14011/40/95-Delhi dated 26th June, 1997. The PGC came into being under a Resolution No. F.4/14/94-AR dated September 25, 1997 issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi.
The Public Grievances Commission is an additional forum where the public can lodge their grievances. Already, the Directorate of Grievances in the Office of the Chief Minister, the Grievances and Anti-corruption Cell headed by the Secretary (AR) and the Directorate of Vigilance of the government receive complaints of inaction or corruption by the departmental officials. A separate grievance redressal mechanism also exists under each department as well as in the local bodies like Municipal Corporation of Delhi, NDMC, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Transco etc. The Public Grievances Commission is a body which cross-cuts sectors, departments and agencies and provides a simple, virtually paperless mechanism where the public can personally speak their mind pointing out the difficulties they have faced. Complaints are lodged with the PGC when citizens find that despite having approached the concerned agency, department or local body, the matter remains unresolved. During hearings in the PGC, the complainant and the departmental officers are heard side-by-side. Full consideration is given to the problem as a relatively senior officer usually attends the hearing.
Departmental officials have to give their reasons for not attending to the complaint or grievance earlier. In this way, the complainant hears the departmental point of view also. He is able to intervene and point out important aspects which may not have been taken note of during the departmental examination of a matter. The most unique aspect of the Commissions working is the opportunity that it provides to each complainant to express his grievance, as he views it, face-to-face with the department officers instead of through correspondence and documentation. The departmental officers are often convinced by the applicants point of view and they undertake to correct a visible wrong. The Commission after hearing both sides passes a speaking order indicating what needs to be done. As a result of this approach it is possible to alleviate many of the genuine problems faced by the public. Where inaction, harassment or corrupt practices are prima facie evident, the Commission draws its own conclusions on the facts available and recommends that disciplinary enquiries be started against the officials. The Commission also passes an order on how the grievance should be settled.