THE PUNJAB PANCHAYATI RAJ ACT

Punjab Act 9 of 1994

 

Contents

SN

Section

1.       

Short title, extent and commencement

2.       

Definitions

CHAPTER – II

GRAM SABHAS AND GRAM PANCHAYATS

3.       

Establishment of Gram Sabha areas

4.       

Constitution of Gram Sabhas

5.       

Meeting and quorum of Gram Sabha

6.       

Presiding Officer

7.       

Budget and annual report of Gram Sabha

8.       

Resolution of majority votes

9.       

Function of Gram Sabha

10.   

Constitution of Gram Panchayat

11.   

Reservation of the seats for the offices of the Panches

12.   

Reservation of seats for the office of Sarpanch

13.   

Oath of Panches and Sarpanches

14.   

Term of office of Sarpanch and Panch

15.   

Term of office of Gram Panchayat

16.   

Powers, functions and duties of Sarpanch

17.   

Resignation of Sarpanch

18.   

Resignation of Panches

19.   

No-Confidence motion against Sarpanch

20.   

Suspension and removal of Panch and Sarpanch

21.   

Cessation from office of Sarpanch or Panch

22.   

Filling of casual vacancies of Sarpanch and Panches

23.   

Meeting of Gram Panchayat

24.   

Quorums and Procedure

25.   

Standing Committees of Gram Panchayats

26.   

Constitution of panchayat Secretaries Service

27.   

Other employees of the Gram Panchayats

28.   

Provident Fund and gratuity for servants

29.   

Dissolution of Gram Panchayat

CHAPTER – III

FUNCTIONS, POWERS AMD DUTIES OF GRAM PANCHAYATS

30.   

Functions of Gram Panchayats

31.   

Assignment of functions of Gram Panchayats

32.   

Special functions of Gram Panchayat

33.   

Delegated functions of Gram Panchayats

34.   

Power to require removal of encroachments and nuisance

35.   

Power of Gram Panchayat to make general order

36.   

Penalty for disobedience of special or general order of the Gram Panchayat

37.   

Appeal against orders of Gram Panchayat

38.   

power to enquire and make report about misconduct of petty officials

39.   

Supervision of patwaris

40.   

Power to introduce prohibition

41.   

Power to make Bye-laws

42.   

Power of entry and Inspection

43.   

Power regarding naming of streets and numbering of buildings

CHAPTER – IV

JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS OF GRAM PANCHAYATS

44.   

Powers and jurisdiction of Gram Panchayat over criminal offences

45.   

Transfer of proceedings

46.   

Exclusion of certain case

47.   

Cognizance of criminal cases

48.   

Action on complaint

49.   

Power of Gram Panchayat to refuse to entertain criminal case

50.   

Proceeding on failure of the accused to appear

51.   

Prompt disposal of criminal cases

52.   

Punishment. A Gram Panchayat may on conviction

53.   

Compensation

54.   

Conviction by Gram Panchayat not Previous Conviction

55.   

Supervision of Criminal proceedings by Chief Judicial Magistrate

56.   

Civil, revenue and judicial powers

57.   

Gram Panchayat to he deemed to be civil or revenue court

58.   

Limits to jurisdiction

59.   

Transfer of suits

60.   

Exclusion of Gram Panchayat jurisdiction

61.   

Limitation

62.   

Institution of suits

63.   

Wrong institution of suits

64.   

Summary dismissal

65.   

Necessary Parties in suits

66.   

Summons

67.   

Dismissal in default and restoration

68.   

Ex pane decision

69.   

Final decision

70.   

Supervision

71.   

Supervisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, and the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to apply only where provided

72.   

Bar to Personal interests

73.   

Compromise and decision on oath

74.   

Bar to legal practitioners

75.   

Appearance of agents

76.   

Difficulties in respect of having no jurisdiction

77.   

Attendance witnesses

78.   

Processes

79.   

Transfer application

80.   

Stay of proceedings

81.   

Payment by installments

82.   

Finality of decisions

83.   

Custody of money

84.   

Contempt of Court

CHAPTER – V

PROPERTY, FUNDS, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTS OF GRAM PANCHAYATS

85.   

Property of Gram Panchayat

86.   

Gram Panchayat Fund

87.   

Custody and maintenance of Gram Panchayat records properties

88.   

Taxation measures by Gram Panchayat

89.   

Financial assistance to Gram Panchayats

90.   

Power to exempt from taxes and to write off irrecoverable amounts

91.   

Expenses of Gram Panchayats

92.   

Recovery of dues as arrears of revenue

93.   

Power of Gram Panchayat to borrow

94.   

Special tax and Community Service

95.   

Budget of Gram Panchayat

96.   

Accounts of Gram Panchayat

97.   

Audit of Accounts of Gram Panchayats

CHAPTER – VI

CONSTITUTION OF PANCHAYAT SAMITIS AND CONDUCT OF THEIR BUSINESS

98.   

Establishment of Panchayat Samitt

99.   

Composition of Panchayat Samitis

100.          

Determination of number of directly elected members of Panchayat Samitis

101.          

Delimitation of Territorial constituencies

102.          

Reservation of seats of Panchayat Samitis

103.          

Duration of Panchayat Samiti

104.          

Notification of election and Oath of allegiance by members of Panchayat Samitis

105.          

Elections of Chairman and Vice-Chairman and term of office

106.          

Reservation for the offices of Chairmen Vice-Chairmen of Panchayat Samitis

107.          

Rotation of reserved seats and offices after each Census

108.          

Allowances to Chairman, Vice-Chairman and other members of Panchayat Samitis

109.          

Powers, functions and duties of Chairman of Panchayat Samitis

110.          

Extraordinary Powers of Chairman and executive Officer of Panchayat Samitis

111.          

Powers, Function of Vice-Chairman of Panchayat Samitis

112.          

Resignation or removal of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Panchayat Samiti

113.          

Suspension and removal of members of Panchayat Samitis

114.          

Dissolution of Panchayat Samiti

115.          

Filling of casual vacancies of member, Chairman and Vice Chairman of Panchayat Samiti

116.          

Meeting of Panchayat Samiti

117.          

Defect or irregularity not to vitiate proceedings of Panchayat Samiti

118.          

Executive Powers of Panchayat Samitis

119.          

Functions and duties of Panchayat Samiti

120.          

Entrustment of functions to Panchayat Samitis

121.          

Relationship of Panchayat Samiti with Gram Panchayat

122.          

Power of Panchayat Samiti to make bye-laws

123.          

Penalty for infringement of bye-laws

124.          

Penalty for disobedience orders of Panchayat Samiti

125.          

Compensation for damage

126.          

Penalty for obstructions

127.          

Prosecution

128.          

Payment of compensation

129.          

Power to recover sums of money claimable by Panchayat Samiti

130.          

Power of Panchayat Samiti to delegate

131.          

Joint work and undertakings

132.          

Acquisition of land and other immovable property

133.          

Procedure when acquisition by agreement not possible

134.          

Standing Committees of Panchayat Samiti

135.          

Functions of General Standing Committee of Panchayat Samiti

136.          

Procedure of Standing Committees of Panchayat Samitis

137.          

Power of Panchayat Samiti to acquire hold and dispose of property

138.          

Panchayat Samiti Fund

139.          

Vesting, custody and investment of Panchayat Samiti Fund

140.          

Application of Panchayat Samiti Fund

141.          

Minimum balance in Panchayat Samiti Fund

142.          

Annual Estimates of income and expenditure

143.          

Audit of Accounts of Panchayat Samitis

144.          

Inspection of Budget and Accounts of Panchayat Samiti

145.          

Publication of abstract of account of Panchayat Samitis

146.          

The Local Rate

147.          

Liability of local rate

148.          

Appropriation of the proceeds of local rate

149.          

Fixation measures by Panchayat Samitis

150.          

Procedure for imposing taxes under Section 149

151.          

Power of Panchayat Samiti in to raise loans

152.          

Expenses of Panchayat Samiti

153.          

Recovery of rates, taxes etc

154.          

Appointment of Executive Officer and his functions

155.          

Employment of Staff and Panchayat Samitis

156.          

Punishment and dismissal of employees of Panchayat Samitis

157.          

State Government employees to be placed at the disposal of Panchayat Samitis

158.          

Government Employees Conduct Rules to apply to employees of Panchayat Samitis

159.          

Employees of Panchayat Samiti not to be concerned in contracts

160.          

Employees etc. to be public servants

CHAPTER – VII

CONSTITUTION OF ZILA PARISHADS AND CONDUCT OF THEIR BUSINESS

161.          

Establishment of Zila Parishads

162.          

Composition of Zila Parishad

163.          

Determination of number of directly elected members of Zila Parishads

164.          

De-limitation of Territorial Constituencies of Zila Parishads

165.          

Reservation of seats of Zila Parishads

166.          

Duration of Zila Parishads

167.          

Notification'hf election and oath of &Ue~ce by Member of Zfla Padshad

168.          

Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Zila Parishad

169.          

Reservation of offices of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Parishads

170.          

Rotation of reserved seats and offices after each Census

171.          

Allowances to the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen and Member of Zila Parishad

172.          

Powers functions and duties of the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Zila Parishads

173.          

Extraordinary powers of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zila Parishad

174.          

Resignation of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Zila Parishads

175.          

No-confidence motion against Chairman and Vice-Chairman, of Zila Parishad

176.          

Resignation of members of Zila Parishad

177.          

Filling of casual vacancies

178.          

Dissolution of Zila Parishads

179.          

Meetings of Zila Parishads

180.          

Functions of Zila Parishads

181.          

Duties and powers of Zila Parishad

182.          

Assignment of functions of Zila Parishad

183.          

Power of Zila Parishad delegate

184.          

Standing Committee of Zila Parishads

185.          

Functions of the Standing Committee of Zila Parishad

186.          

Procedure of standing committees Zila Parishads

187.          

Power of Zila Parishads to acquire, hold and dispose of property

188.          

Zila Parishad Fund

189.          

Taxation measure by Zila Parishad

190.          

Financial arrangement by Zila Parishads

191.          

Recovery of rates, taxes etc

192.          

Budget of Zila Parishad

193.          

Account of Zila Parishads

194.          

Audit of Accounts of Zila Parishads

195.          

Chief Executive Officer and Officer of Zila Parishads

196.          

Staff of the Zila Parishad

197.          

Functions of Chief Executive Officer of Zila Parishad

198.          

Recovery of money by Chief Executive Officer of Zila & Parishad

CHAPTER – VIII

CHAR CONTROL AND SUPERVISION

199.          

Power to cancel or suspend resolutions of Panchayat

200.          

Default of duties by the Panchayats

201.          

Power to call for proceedings of Panchayat

202.          

Emergency powers of the State Government

203.          

Access to or seizure of record of Panchayats

204.          

Power to issue directions

205.          

Inquiry into affairs of Panchayats

206.          

Right of State Government Officers to attend meetings of Panchayats

207.          

General powers of State Government and Commissioners

CHAPTER – IX

MISCELLANEOUS

208.          

Disqualification for Membership

209.          

Power of State Government to direct holding of general elections

210.          

Election Commission to conduct Panchayat

211.          

Continuation of existing Panchayats

212.          

Existing institutions to continue till new institutions are established

213.          

Election to he held within six months where Panchayat is not functioning

214.          

District Planning Committees

215.          

Disputes between Panchayats and other bodies

216.          

Liability of members of Panchayat

217.          

Right of appeal of employees

218.          

Protection of action in good faith

219.          

Authentication of orders etc.

220.          

Relation of Panchayat with police

221.          

Delegation of powers

222.          

Over-riding effect on other laws.

223.          

Power to remove difficulties

224.          

Panchayats to be local authorities

225.          

Power of Panchayats to make regulations

226.          

Power of State Government to make/Model regulations

227.          

Power to make Rules

228.          

Repeal and Savings

 

Notification

No. 9-Leg/94 – The Following Act of the Legislature of the State of Punjab received the assent of the President of India on 20th April, 1994, and is hereby published for general information: -

 

The Punjab Panchayati Raj Act

(Punjab Act No 9 of 1994)

 

An Act to replace the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1992, relating to Gram Panchayats, and the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads Act, 1961, relating to the Panchayat Samities and Zila Parishads by a comprehensive new enactment;

 

            Whereas it is expedient to replace the present enactments by a comprehensive new enactment to establish a three-tier Panchayati Raj system in the State of Punjab with elected bodies at the village, Block and District levels, in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992 for greater participation of the people and more effective implementation of rural development and Panchayati Raj system.

 

            Be it enacted by the State Legislature of the State of Punjab in the forty-fifth year of the Republic of India as follows: -

 

1.         Short title, extent and commencement. (1) This Act may be called the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act, 1994.

(2)              It extends to the whole of the State of Punjab.

(3)              It shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification, in the Official Gazette, appoint.

 

CHAPTER – I

2.         Definitions.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -

(a)              “annual value” means –

(i)                 double the land revenue for the time being assessed on any land, whether the assessment is leviable or not; or

(ii)               where the land has been permanently assessed, or has been wholly or in part compounded for or redeemed, double the amount which, but for such permanent assessment, composition or redemption, would have been leviable; or

(iii)              where no land revenue has been assessed, double the amount which would have been assessed if the average village rate had been applied:

 

Provided that, in any tract in which, under the settlement for the time being in force, the improvement of the land due to canal irrigation has been excluded from account in assessing the land revenue and a rate has been imposed in respect of such improvement, that rate shall be added to the land revenue for the purpose of computing the annual value;

(b)    “Backward Classes” means such classes of citizens as may be notified by the State Government from time to time;

(c)    “Block” means such area in a district as may be declared by the State Government by notification, to be a Block.

(d)    “Block Development and Panchayat Officer” means the Block Development and Panchayat Officer and included any other officer appointed by the State Government to perform all or any of the functions of the Block Development and Panchayat Officer under this Act;

(e)    “business” includes any trade, commerce or manufacture or an adventure or concern in the nature of trade, commerce or manufacture;

(f)     “building” means any shop, house, hut, out-house, shed or stable, whether used for the purpose of human habitation or otherwise and whether of masonry, brick, wood, mud, tha5tch, metal or any other material whatever, and includes a wall and a well;

(g)    “bye-laws” means bye-laws made by a Gram Panchayat, or a Panchayat Samiti or a Zila Parishad under this Act;

(h)    “Chairman or Vice-Chairman” means the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman of a Panchayat Samiti or a Zila Parishad, as the case may be;

(i)     “Chief Executive Officer” means Chief Executive Officer of a Zila Parishad appointed under this Act;

(j)     “Collector” means the Collector of a district and includes any officer not below the rank of a District Development and Panchayat Officer specially appointed by the State Government to perform the functions of a Collector under this Act;

(k)    “Commissioner” means the Divisional Commissioner or such other officer as may be appointed by the State Government to exercise the powers of a Commissioner under this Act;

(l)     “Common land” means land which is not in the exclusive use of any individual and has by usage, custom or prescription been reserved for the common purposes of village community or has been acquired for such purposes;

(m)   “casual vacancy” means a vacancy occurring otherwise than by efflux of time;

(n)    “Deputy Chief Executive Officer” means an officer not below the rank of District Development and Panchayat Officer to be appointed under this Act as such for a Zila Parishad;

(o)    “Deputy Commissioner” means the Deputy Commissioner of a district and includes any officer not below the rank of an Extra Assistant Commissioner specially appointed by the State Government to perform the functions of a Deputy commissioner under this Act;

(p)    “Deputy Director” means an Officer appointed by the State Government to perform the functions of a Deputy Director under the Act;

(q)    “Director” means the Director of Panchayats appointed under this Act and includes any officer not below the rank of Deputy Director appointed by the State Government ot perform the functions of the Director;

(r)     “District” means a revenue District in the State;

(s)     “District Development and Panchayat Officer” means a District Development and Panchayat Officer and includes an officer appointed by the State Government to perform the functions of a District Development and Panchayat Officer under this Act;

(t)     “Election Commissioner” means the Election Commission constituted under Article 243-K of the Constitution of India for the State of Punjab;

(u)    “Erection or Re-erection or Enlargement” of any building includes-

(i)                      any material alteration or enlargement of any building;

(ii)                     the conversion, by structural alteration, into a place of human habitation of any building not originally constructed for human habitation;

(iii)                   the conversion of two or more places of human habitation into a lesser number of such places;

(iv)                   the conversion of one or more places of human habitation into a greater number of such places;

(v)                    such alteration of a building as would effect a change in the drainage or sanitary arrangements or materially affect its security;

(vi)                   the addition of any rooms, buildings, out-houses or their structures to any building;

(vii)                 the conversion, by any structural alteration, into a place of religious worship or into a building used for a sacred purpose of any place or bu9ilding not originally meant or constructed for such purpose;

(viii)                roofing or covering an open space between walls or buildings, in respect of the structure which is formed by roofing or covering such space;

(ix)                   conversion into a stall, shop, warehouse or godown of any building not originally constructed for use as such or vice versa;

(x)                    construction of a door in a wall adjoining any street or land not vested in the owner of the wall and opening on such street or land;

(v)    “Executive Officer” means an Executive Officer of a Panchayat Samiti constituted under this Act;

(w)   “existing law” means the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952 (Punjab Act4 of 1953) or the Punjab Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishad Act, 1961 (Punjab Act 3 of 1961) as the case may be;

(x)    “Factory” means besides a factory as defined in the Factories Act, 1948 (Central Act 13 of 1948) and any premises including any premises where in any industrial manufacturing or trade process is carried on with the aid of stream, water, oil, gas, electrical or any other form of power which is mechanically transmitted and is not generated by human or animal agency;

(y)    “Gram Sabha” means a body consisting of persons registered as voters in the electoral rolls of the area of the Gram Panchayat, constituted under Section 3 of this Act;

(z)     “Gram Sabha area” means territorial area of a Gram Sabha;

(za)   “Gram Panchayat” means an institution of self-government for a  Gram Sabha area constituted under Section 9;

(zb)   “land” means land assessed to land revenue and includes land whereof the land revenue has been wholly or in part released, compounded for, redeemed or assigned;

(zc)   “land-holder” means any person responsible for the payment of the land revenue, if any, assessed on land and includes the proprietor of land, the land revenue of which has been wholly, or in part released, compounded for redeemed or assigned;

(zd)   “latrine” includes a privy, water-closet and urinal;

(ze)   “local authority” includes a Municipal Corporation, Municipal Committee, Zila Parishad, Panchayat Samiti, Gram Panchayat, Sanitary Board, Town Board, Notified Area Committee, Improvement Trust, Urban Development Authority and Planning Authority constituted under this Act of under any law for the time being in force;

(zf)   “market” means a place for the sale of goods or animals publically exposed where ordinarily or periodically at least four shops, stalls or sheds are set up or where at least ten animals are brought for sale;

(zg)   “member’ means a member of a Gram Panchayat, a Panchayat Samiti or Zila Parishad and includes Sarpanch of a Gram Panchayat and Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Panchayat Samiti or Zila Parishad;

(zh)   “occupier” means any person in actual possession of any land or building or part thereof and includes an owner in actual possession and the tenant or licensee whether such tenant or licensee is liable to pay rent or not;

(zi)    "Panch" means a member of the Gram Panchayat elected under this Act and Includes a Sarpanch;

(zj) "Panchayat" means a Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad constituted under this Act;

(zk) "Panchayat area" means the territorial area of a Panchayat or Panchayat Samiti or Zila Parishad;

(zi) "Panchayat Samiti" means a Panchayat Samiti constituted for a Block under this Act;

(zm) "Panchayat Secretary" means the Secretary of the Gram Panchayat appointed under this Act;

(zn) "Population" means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published;

(zo) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(zp) "public nuisance" Includes any act, omission, place or thing which causes or Is likely to cause Injury, danger, annoyance or offence to the sense of sight, smell or hearing or disturbance to rest or sleep or which is or may be dangerous to life or injurious to the health or property of the public or of the people in general, who dwell In the vicinity or of persons who may have occasion to exercise a public right;

(zq) "public place” means a any place, building or structure situated within a Panchayat area to which the public has free access;

(zr) "Public servant" means a public servant as defined In section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and shall Include a Panch and a Sarpanch or member of a Panchayat Samiti or a member of a Zila Parishad.

(zs)   “public street’ means a pathway, road, street, bridge, lane, square, court, alley or passage in  a village, which the public has a right to use, and includes the drains or gutters on either side and the land , up to the defined boundary of any abutting property, notwithstanding any projection over such side of any of any verandah or other superstructure;

(zt) "Sarpanch" means Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat elected under Section 10 of the this Act;

(zu)   “Schedule” means a Scheduled appended to this Act;

(zv) "Schedule Caste" means the Scheduled Caste specified in respect of the State of Punjab in the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950 for the time being in force;

(zw) "Social Education and Panchayat Officer" means Social Education and Panchayat officer and include an officer appointed by the State Government to perform the functions of a Social Education and Panchayat Officer under this Act;

(zx)   “Standing Committee” means a Standing Committee constituted for a Gram Panchayat, a Panchayat Samiti or a Zila Parishad under this Act;

(zy)   “Sub-Division Officer” means the officer-in-charge of a Sub-Division of a District constituted for revenue and general purposes;

(zz)   "tax” includes a cess, duty fee rate, toll or other impost leviable under this Act;

(zza) “Village” means any local area, recorded as a revenue estate in the revenue records of the district in which it is situated;

(zzb) “Village level functionary” in relation to a Gram Sabha area means any person performing his official duties in that Gram Sabha area and includes Patwari, School Teacher, Secretary of a Co-operative Society, and Forest Guard;

(zzc) “Watercourse” means any channel which is maintained at the cost of irrigators and is supplied with water from any canal to which either the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873 or the Punjab Minor Canals Act, 1905 or any other Act for the time being inforce applies and includes all subsidiary works connected with such channel except the sluice or outlet through which water is supplied to such channel;

(zzd) “Zila Parishad” means a Zila Parishad of a a district constituted under this Act;

(zze) the expressions “offence”, “non-bailable offence”, “cognizable offence”, “complaint”, “officer-in-charge of a police station” and “police station” have the same meanings as in section 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973;

(zzf)  the expressions “decree-holder”, “judgment-debtor”, “legal representative” and “movable property” have the same meanings as in section 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908;

(zzg) the expressions “landowner”, “tenant” and “land revenue” have the same meanings as in the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887;

(zzh) words the expression used but not defined in this Act shall have the meanings assigned to them in the law for the time being in force relating to the Gram Panchayats, Municipalities, District Boards and market Committees.

 

NOTES

Village – The word village by and large synonymous with revenue estate.  Through word ‘village’ use in singular it will also mean ‘villages’ when read in relevant context.  An area recorded as revenue estate in revenue records of a district can only be called village.  Area not recorded as revenue estate cannot be called a village and cannot be independently declared as a Sabha area.  Local area not recorded as a revenue estate, does not fall within definition of village.

            Public Street – Pathway is included in term ‘Public Street’ – Gram Panchayat has jurisdiction to order removal of encroachment from such public street.  So long as public has a right to use the Blind alley, the same is covered by definition of “public street”.

 

Distinction Between Common Land and Public Place. – The expression common land refers to every kind of land reserved for common purposes of village community or acquired for such purposes but not in the exclusive possession of any particular individual.  In order that a place falling within the definition of expression common land may be covered by covered by the definition of public place the additional requisite of its so falling within the scope of the latter as to the public in general having free access to it has to be satisfied.  Public place may be covered by the definition of common land but every piece of common land is not a public place.  It is only in respect of those places of land, which not only satisfy the test of sine qua non of the definition of the public place of free access to such land by public in general that the place could be covered by the definition of public place.  Unless it is shown on behalf of the Gram Panchayat that the site in dispute is a public place, the Gram Panchayat has no jurisdiction to proceed against a person on the ground of the site in dispute being the public place.  In other words, existence of public place is a condition precedent for exercise of jurisdiction by the Gram Panchayat.

 

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