CHAPTER – II

GRAM SABHAS AND GRAM PANCHAYATS

 

3.         Establishment of Gram Sabha areas. (1) The State Government may, by notification, declare any village or group of contiguous villages with a population of not less than two hundred to constitute a Gram Sabha area:

            Provided that a new Gram Sabha area may be constituted for any village or group of contiguous villages in respect of a separate distinct abadi or group of abadis having a population of not less than two hundred taking into consideration its physical distance from the main village or villages, as the case may be and other relevant facts:

            Provided further that neither the whole nor any part of –

(a)                             a Notified Area under Section 241 of the Punjab Municipal- Act, 1911, or any other Act for the time being in force: or

(b)                             a Cantonment; or

(c)                             a Municipality of any class., or

(d)                             a Municipal Corporation;

shall be included in a Gram Sabha area unless the majority of voters in any Notified Area or Municipality of the Third Class desire the establishment of a Gram Sabha In which case &&c assets and liabilities, if any, of the Notified Area Committee or the Municipal Committee, as the, base may be, shall vest in the Gram Panchayat of that Gram Sabha and the Notified Area Committee or the Municipal Committee shall cease to exist.

(2) That State Government may, by notification, Include any area in or exclude any area from the Gram Sabha area.

(3) (i) where any area excluded from any Gram Sabha area under sub-section (2) Is either Included In any other Gram Sabha area or 1,9 constituted Into a new Gram Sabha area, the assets and liabilities of the Grain Panchayat of the Gram Sabha area from which such area is so excluded (hereinafter referred to as the existing Gram Panchayat) shall be apportioned between the successor Gram Panchayats In the manner specified hereinafter.

(ii) All lands and all stores, articles and other goods belonging to the existing Gram Panchayat shall, -

(a) If within the Gram Sabha area of that Gram Panchayat pass on to the successor Gram Panchayat in whose Gram Sabha area they are situated;

(b) If outside the Gram Sabha area of that Gram Panchayat be apportioned between the successor Gram Panchayats according to population ratio;

(iii) The Gram Fund, Bank Balances grants received from the State Government from time to time shall be apportioned between the successor Gram Panchayats according to the population ratio:

Provided that a grant given by the State Government for the development of an area which forms part of the Gram Sabha area of any of the successor Gram Panchayats shall be transferred to that successor Gram Panchayat.

(iv) The right to recover arrears of ally tax on property shall belong to the successor Gram Panchayat in whose Gram 5abha area the property is situated and the right to recover any other tax Imposed by the existing Gram Panchayat shall belong to the successor Gram Panchayat in whose Gram Sabha area the place of assessment of that tax is situated.

(v) Where before the date of exclusion of Gram Sabha area the existing Gram Panchayat has made any contract for the purposes of that Gram Panchayat, that contract shall be deemed to have been made-

(a)   if the purposes of the contract are on and front the day of exclusion of the Gram Sabha area, exclusively purposes of any one of the successor Gram Panchayat, by that successor Gram Panchayat; and .

(b)   if the purposes of the contract are on and from that day not exclusively Purposes of any one of the successor Gram Panchayats, by all the Gram Panchayats;

 

and the rights and liabilities which have accrued or may accrue, under any such contract, shall to the extent to which they would have been the rights and liabilities of the existing Gram Panchayats, be the rights and liabilities of the successor Gram Panchayat, or, as the case may be, the successor Gram Panchayats according to their population ratio.

 

(vi) where the existing Gram Panchayat is a party to any legal proceedings with respect to any property, rights or liabilities subject to apportionment under this section, the successor Gram Panchayat which succeeds to, or acquire a share, In that property or those rights or liabilities, shall he deemed to be substituted or added as a party to those proceedings, and the proceedings may continue accordingly.

 

(vii) The benefit or burden of any assets and liabilities of the existing Gram Panchayat, not dealt with in the forgoing provisions of section shall, pass on to the successor Gram Panchayats in the manner agreed upon between them and in case no such agreement within a period of one year from the date of exclusion of the Gram Sabha area the State Government shall be competent to determine the same at the request of either of the Gram Panchayats.

 

(4) If whole of the Gram Sabha area is included in an urban estate to which the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Act, 1911 or the Punjab. Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, are applicable or In a city, municipality cantonment, or Notified Area under any law for the time being in force, the Gram Sabha and the Gram Panchayat for that area shall cease to exist and the assets and liabilities of the Gram Panchayat shall be disposed of in the prescribed manner.

 

4.         Constitution of Gram Sabhas. (1) The State Government may. by notification establish a Gram Sabha by name for every area declared as Gram Sabha area under section 3.

 

(2) Every person who is entered as voter on the electoral roll prepared by the State Election Commission and for the time being in force pertaining to the area of a Gram Sabha, shall be member of the Gram Sabha.

 

5.         Meeting and quorum of Gram Sabha. (1) Every Gram Sabha shall hold two general meetings In each year, one in the month of December after the harvesting of the Sawni Crop (hereinafter called the Sawni meeting) and the other In the month of June after the harvesting of the Hari crop (hereinafter called the Hari meeting) on such date as may be fixed by the Sarpanch.

            (2)       In the event of his failing to hold two consecutive general meetings of the Gram Sabha, the Sarpanch shall automatically cease to hold office, from the last day of the month in which, the second meeting was to be held and Block Development and Panchayat Officer shall immediately intimate the happening of such cessation to the District Development and Panchayat Officer and on receipt of such information the District Development and Panchayat Officer shall notify this fact to the Panchayat Samiti, Gram Sabha and such a Sarpanch.

            (3)       The Director may reinstate such a Sarpanch on his showing sufficient cause of his default to hold two consecutive meetings within a period of thirty days from the date of the notification of his cessation as Sarpanch under sub-section (2).

            (4)       The Sarpanch should at any time, and where a requisition in writing of the Panchayat Samiti or of not less than one-fifty of the total number of members of the Gram Sabha has been received by him shall within thirty days form the receipt of such requisition, call an extraordinary general meeting of the Gram Sabha.

            (5)       If a general meeting or an extraordinary general meeting is not called as required by sub-section (1) and (4), the Executive Officer of the Panchayat Samiti shall call such a meeting.

            (6)       For any meeting of the Gram Sabha, one-fifth of the total number of its members shall form a quorum:

            Provided that in the case of an adjourned meeting the quorum shall be one-tenth and the provisions of this sub-section shall not apply ot any other meeting of the Gram Sabha held due to adjournment for want of knowledge.

            (7)       The Secretary of the Gram Panchayat and the Gram Sewak shall attend every general meeting of the Gram Sabha an din addition thereto the Gram Panchayat may call any village functionary serving in Gram Sabha area to attend such a meeting and tender advice in respect of any matter coming up before it.

 

6.         Presiding Officer.  Every meeting of the Gram Sabha shall be presided over by the Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat and in his absence by any Panch to be elected at the time of the meeting.

 

7.         Budget and annual report of Gram Sabha.  The Gram Panchayat shall prepare and lay for approval before the Gram Sabha -

(i)                at its Sawni meeting a budget estimates of its income and expenditure and a plan of development programme for the year commencing on the first day of April, next following; and

(ii)               at its Hari meeting an annual statement of account and an annual report of progress of preceding financial year and development programme proposed to be undertaken during the current year: 

Provided that if a Gram Panchayat fails to present its budget or plan of development programme in the meeting to be held in December the Panchayat Samiti shall prepare the budget and the said plan for such Gram Panchayat and present the same before an extraordinary general meeting of the Gram Sabha specially called for this purpose and the Gram Sabha shall consider the budget and the plan so prepared and presented.

 

8.         Resolution of majority votes.  Any resolution relating to the matters entrusted to the Gram Sabha under this Act, shall have to be passed by a majority of votes of the members present and voting in the meeting of the Gram Sabha.

 

9.         Function of Gram Sabha. The Gram Sabha shall perform the following functions, namely: -

(a)                             to approve annual budget and plan of development programme and review annual statement of accounts and annual progress report;

(b)                             to render assistance In the implementation of development schemes pertaining to the

(c)                             to Identify beneficiaries for the Implementation to development schemes pertaining to the.

 

Provided that in case the Gram Sabha fails to identify the beneficiaries within a reasonable time, the Gram Panchayat shall identify the beneficiaries.

(d)                            to mobilise voluntary labour and contributions in kind or cash or both for the community welfare programmes;

(e)                            to promote programme of adult education and family welfare with- In the

(f)                             to promote unity and harmony among an sections of society In the village;

(g)                            to seek clarifications from the Sarpanch and Panches of the Gram Panchayat about any particular activity, scheme, income and expenditure; and

(h)                            to perform such other functions as may be prescribed.

 

10.       Constitution of Gram Panchayat. (1) Every Gram Sabha shall elect from amongst its members a Gram Panchayat for the Gram Sabha area bearing the name of its Gram Sabha and consisting of a Sarpanch and such number of Panches as indicate below against each slab of population taking Gram Sabha to be a multi-member single constituency, namely: -

 

SN

Population

Number of Panches

1.       

For population exceeding 200 but not exceeding 1,000

Five

2.       

For population exceeding 1,000 but not exceeding 2,000

Seven

3.       

For population exceeding 2,000 but not exceeding 5,000

Nine

4.       

For population exceeding 5,000 but not ex ceding 10,000

Eleven

5.       

For population exceeding 10,000

Thirteen

 

(2) Every Gram Panchayat constituted under this section shall be notified by Its name In the Official Gazettee and It shall by the name so notified come office with effect from the date of its first meeting at which quorum Is present and be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal, and subject to any restriction by or under this Act or any other law, shall have power to acquire, hold, administer and transfer property movable or Immovable, and to enter into contracts and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

 

11.       Reservation of the seats for the offices of the Panches.  (1) The offices of Panches shall be reserved for the Schedules Castes (and Backward Classes) in such a way that the number of offices reserved for Scheduled Castes shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of offices (to be filled by direct election) in that Gram Panchayat, as the population of the Schedules Castes to the total population in that Gram Sabha area.

(2)       Not less than one-third of the total number of offices reserved under sub0-section (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Schedules Castes.

(3) Not less than one-third (including the number of offices reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes) of the total number of offices (to be filled by direct election) in every Gram Panchayat shall he reserved for women.

(4) One office of Panch shall be reserved for Backward Classes In a Gram Panchayat where population of Backward Classes In the Gram Sabha area is more than twenty per cent of the total population of that Gram Sabha area.

 

12.       Reservation of seats for the office of Sarpanch. (1) Offices of Sarpanch of Gram Panchayats in the district shall be reserved for Scheduled Castes and the number of such offices shall bear, as nearly as may, the same proportion to the total number of offices of Sarpanches in the district as the population of Scheduled Castes in the district bears to the total population of the district:

Provided that not less than one-third of the total number of offices of Sarpanch of Gram Panchayats In the district shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes.

(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of offices of Sarpanches in the district shall be reserved for women including such offices, reserved for women belonging to Scheduled Castes under sub-section (1).

(3) There shall be no reservation in the offices of Sarpanches for Back- ward Classes.

(4) The offices reserved under this section shall be allotted by rotation to the different Gram Panchayats in such manner as may be, prescribed.

 

Explanation - For the removal of doubts it is hereby declared that the principle of rotation for the purpose of reservation of offices under sections 2 and 12 shall commence from the first election to be held after the commencement of this Act.

 

13.       Oath of Panches and Sarpanches. After having been elected and before entering upon the duties of his office, a Panch as well as a Sarpanch shall take an oath as specified In Schedule 1 and in the manner prescribed.

 

14. Term of office of Sarpanch and Panch. Term of offices of Sarpanch and Panch of a Gram Panchayat shall, have as otherwise providing in this Act, co-terminate with the term of the Gram Panchayat.

 

15. Term of office of Gram Panchayat. (1) Every Gram Panchayat unless dissolved earlier under this Act, shall continue for a term of five years from the date of its first meeting.

(2) No amendment of any law for the time being in force shall have the effect of causing dissolution of a Gram Panchayat which Is functioning immediately before such amendment, till the expiration of its duration specified in sub-section (1).

(3) An election to constitute a Gram Panchayat shall be completed-

(a)   before the expiration of term of Its duration specified in sub-section (1);

(b)   before the expiry of period of six mouths from the date of its dissolution:

Provided that where the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Gram Panchayat would have continued is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election under this clause for constituting the Gram Panchayat for such period.

(4) A Gram Panchayat constituted upon the dissolution of a Gram Panchayat before the expiration of its duration, shall continue only for remainder of the period for which the dissolved Gram Panchayat would have continued under sub-section (1) had It not been so dissolved.

 

16. Powers, functions and duties of Sarpanch. (1) The Sarpanch shall

(a)                         be responsible for convening the meet~ of the Gram Sabha and preside over Its meetings;

(b)                         be responsible for convening the meetings of the Gram Panchayat and shall preside over its meetings;

(c)                         be responsible for the maintenance of the records of the Gram Panchayat;

(d)                         have the general responsibility for the financial and executive administration of the Gram Panchayat;

(e)                         exercise administrative supervision and control over the work of the staff of the Gram Panchayat and the officers and employees whose service may be placed at the disposal of the Gram Panchayat by any other authority;

(f)                          for the transaction of business connected with this Act or for the purpose of making any order authorized thereby, exercise such powers, perform such functions and discharge such duties as may be exercised, performed or discharged by the Gram Panchayat under this Act or the rules made thereunder:

Provided that the Sarpanch shall not exercise such powers, perform such functions or discharge such duties as may be required by the rules made under this Act to be exercised, performed or discharged by the Gram Panchayat at a meeting;

(g) exercise such other powers, perform such other duties as the Gram Panchayat may, by general or special, resolution, direct or as the State Government may by rules made In this behalf, prescribe.

 

17. Resignation of Sarpanch. (1) The Sarpanch may resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Deputy Director concerned.

(2) Every resignation under sub-section (1) shall take effect on the expiry of fifteen days from the date of its receipt unless within this period of fifteen days he withdraws such resignation by writing under his hand addressed to the prescribed authority.

 

18 Resignation of Panches. A Panch of a Gram Panchayat may resign his office in writing under his hand addressed to the Deputy Director concerned and his office shall become vacant on the expiry of fifteen days from the date of such resignation unless within the said period of fifteen days, he withdraws such resignation by writing.

 

19. No-Confidence motion against Sarpanch. (1) An application regarding intention to move a motion of no-confidence against a Sarpanch be made to the Block Development and Panchayat Officer by a two-thirds majority of the total number of Panches of the Gram Sabha concerned:

Provided that no such application shall be made unless a period of two years has elapsed from the date on which the Sarpanch assumed his office.

(2) The Block Development and Panchayat Officer shall, within a period of fifteen days of the receipt of application under sub-section (1), convene a meeting of the Gram Sabha by giving seven clear days In notice, for discussing and taking decision on the no-confidence motion.

(3) If the no-confidence motion is carried In the meeting convened under sub-section (2) which shall be presided over by the Block Development and Panchayat Officer or an Officer not below the rank of Social Education and Panchayat Officer authorised by the Block Development and Panchayat Officer In this behalf, by a majority of the members of the Gram Sabha Present and voting concerned, the Sarpanch shall be deemed to have been removed from his office, and a new Sarpanch shall be elected in his place:

 

Provided that if the no-confidence motion is lost another such motion shall not be moved against that Sarpanch before the expiry of two years from the date of its having been lost.

 

20. Suspension and removal of Panch and Sarpanch (1) The Director may, after such enquiry as he may deem fit, remove any Sarpanch or Panch: -

(a)   on any of the grounds mentioned In section 208.

(b)   who refuses to act or becomes incapable of acting;

(c)   who, being a Sarpanch, without reasonable cause, fails to hold meetings of the Gram Panchayat as required under sub-section (1) of section 16 for a period of two consecutive months;

(d)   who, without reasonable cause, absents himself for more than two consecutive months from the meetings of the Gram Panchayat,

(e)   who during his present term of office or that immediately preceding it, has, in the opinion of the Director, been guilty of misconduct in the discharge of his duties; or

(f)    whose continuance in office Is undesirable In the Interests of the public :

Provided that before the Director orders the removal of any Sarpanch or Panch under this sub-section, the reasons for the proposed removal shall be communicated to him and he shall be given an opportunity of tendering an explanation In writing.

 

Explanation: - The expression "misconduct" in clause (e) includes the failure of the Sarpanch or Panch without sufficient cause: -

(i)                         to submit the judicial file of a case within two weeks of the receipt of order of any Court to do so.,

(ii)                        to produce the Panchayat records on being required to do so by an officer of the Department of Rural Development and Panchayats not below the rank of Social Education and Panchayat Officer,-

(iii)                      to carry out the lawful orders of any competent authority or an of- Officer authorised by the State Government In this behalf; and

(iv)                      to supply a copy of the order of the Gram Panchayat in an administrative or judicial case decided by It, within weeks from the receipt of a valid application therefore.

(2) A person, who has been removed under sub-section (1) may be disqualified for re-election for such period not exceeding five years from the date of his removal as the Director may fix.

(3) The Director may Suspend any Sarpanch or Panch where a case against him in respect of any criminal offence is under investigation, enquiry or trial if, in the opinion of the Director, the charge made or proceeding taken against him is likely to embarrass him in the discharge of his duties or involves moral turpitude or defect of character.

(4) The Director at any time, and the Deputy Commissioner or the District Development and Panchayat Officer During the course of an enquiry, may suspend a Sarpanch of Panch for any of the reasons for which he can be removed.

(5) A Sarpanch or Panch, suspended tinder this section shall not take part In any act or proceeding of the Gram Panchayat during the period of suspension and shall hand over the records, money and other property of the Gram Panchayat in his possession or under his control to the Panch as may be elected by the Panches from amongst panches in a meeting called by the Block Development, and Panchayat Officer for this purpose:

(6) Any person aggrieved by an order of removal or suspension passed under this section, may, within a period of thirty days from the date of communication of the order, prefer an appeal to the State Government.

 

21. Cessation from office of Sarpanch or Panch. (1) In case a Sarpanch or Panch fails to deposit the amount assessed to be due from him under section 216 within a period of sixty days from the date on which it is finally determined such Sarpanch or Panch shall cease to hold his office on the day immediately following the date on which the period of sixty days expires and on the happening of such an event the Block Development and Panchayat Officer shall intimate the same to the District Development and Panchayat Officer who shall inform the Panchayat, Samiti, Gram Panchayat and the person who was holding the office of Panch that he had ceased to hold his office from the aforesaid day.

(2) If any question arises whether a Sarpanch or Panch has ceased to hold office under sub-section (1) the same shall be referred to the concerned Deputy Director whose decision shall be final.

(3) In case the Sarpanch or Panch shows sufficient cause for the default to the satisfaction of the Director within a period of thirty days of the date an which he was Informed about his cessation from the office the Director may by an order reinstate him.

 

22. Filling of casual vacancies of Sarpanch and Panches. (1) Whenever a vacancy occurs by death, resignation, removal or otherwise of a Sarpanch or of a Panch the vacancy shall be filled up by way of election:

Provided that if the vacancy relates to the Scheduled Castes, Backward Classes or to Women, the vacancy shall be filled up out of the persons belonging to the category to which category of person the vacancy relates.

(2) A person elected to fill a casual vacancy under sub-section (1) shall be elected for the remainder of his predecessor's term of office:

Provided that where the remainder of period for which a Panch or Sarpanch is to be elected is less than six months, it shall not be, necessary to hold any election under this section to fill such a vacancy.

 

23. Meeting of Gram Panchayat. (1) The meeting of the Gram Panchayat shall be public and shall be held at least once a month at the office of the Gram Panchayat or at some other public place within the Gram Sabha area for which It is established and at such time and date as the Sarpanch may determine and notify.

(2) The Sarpanch, when required in writing by a majority of the Panches to call a special meeting, shall do so within three days failing which these Panches, shall, with the previous approval of the prescribed authority, be entitled to call a meeting after giving a week's notice through the Panchayat Secretary to the Sarpanch and the other Panches.

(3) Seven clear days' notice of an ordinary meeting and three days' clear notice of a special meeting specifying the place, date and time of such meeting and the business to be transacted thereat, shall be given by the Secretary to the Panches and such officers as the State Government may prescribe, and affixed on the notice board of the Gram Panchayats.

 

24. Quorums and Procedure. (1) The majority of Panches for the time being holding office shall form a quorum and if at the time appointed for the meeting, a quorum is not present - 

(a)                             the presiding authority shall wait for thirty minutes, and if within such period there is no quorum, the presiding authority shall adjourn the meeting to such time on the following day or such future day as he may fix;

(b)                             similarly, the presiding authority after waiting for thirty minutes adjourn the meeting if, at any time, after it has begun attention is drawn to the want of a quorum and the business which could not be considered at the meeting postponed under clause (a) for want of quorum, shall be brought before and disposed of at the meeting so fixed or at any subsequent adjourned meeting at which there is a quorum.

(2) Save as otherwise provided by or under this Act, at every meeting of the Gram Panchayat, the Sarpanch and in his absence a Panch elected out of the Panches present shall preside for the occasion.

(3) All questions shall, unless otherwise specifically provided, be decided by a majority of votes of the present and voting and the Sarpanch or Panch presiding, as the case may be, unless he refrains from voting, shall give his vote before declaring the number of votes for and against a question and In the case of equality of votes, he may give his casting vote.

(4) No member of a Gram Panchayat shall vote on, or take part in the discussion of any question coming up for consideration at a meeting of a Gram Panchayat, if the question is one in which apart from its general application to the public, he has any pecuniary interest, and if the person presiding has such an interest, he shall not preside over the meeting when such question comes up for consideration.

(5) If the person presiding Is believed by any member present at the meeting to have any such pecuniary interest in any matter under discussion, and if a motion to that be carried, he shall not preside at the meeting during such discussion or vote on or take part in it and in such a case any member other than that member of the Gram Panchayat may be chosen to preside at the meeting during the continuance of such discussion.

 

25. Standing Committees of Gram Panchayats. (1) Every Gram Panchayat shall constitute the following committees by election, namely. –

(i)                            the Production Committee for performing functions relating to agriculture production, animal husbandry and rural industries and poverty alleviation programmes;

(ii)                           the Social Justice Committee for performing function relating to –

(a)                promotion of education, economic, social, cultural and other interests of the Scheduled Caste, and Backward Classes and other weaker sections.

(b)                protection of such castes and classes from social injustice and any form of exploitation;

(c)                welfare of women and children;

(iii)       the Amenities Committee to perform functions In respect of education, public health, public works and other functions of the Gram Panchayat.

(2)(a) Each Standing Committee shall consist of not less than three and not more than five members including the Sarpanch and the Sarpanch shall be the ex officio member and Chairman of all these Standing Committees:

Provided that the Social Justice Committee shall consist of at least one member who is a woman and one member belonging to the scheduled Castes or Backward Classes.

(b) Each Committee shall be competent to co-opt. In such manner as may be prescribed, members of farmers clubs, mahila mandals, yuvak mandals and other similar bodies recognized by the State Government and representative of co-operative societies in the Gram Panchayat area shall also be co-opted to the Production Committee.

(3) The Standing Committees shall perform the functions referred to in sub-section (2) to the extent the powers are delegated to them by the Gram Panchayat. 1

 

26. Constitution of panchayat Secretaries Service - (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, the State Government may, be notification, constitute, in the prescribed manner, the Punjab Panchayat Secretaries (hereinafter referred to as the Service):

Provided that the service constituted under section 16 of the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952 shall be deemed to have been constituted under this Act:

Provided further that the rules for regulating the recruitment, salaries, allowances and other conditions of service of members of the Service made under the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952 shall also be deemed to be made under this Act till such rules are modified, altered or newly framed by the State Government under this Act.

(2) The Secretary shall be incharge of the office of the Gram Panchayat and shall perform all the duties and exercise all the powers imposed or conferred upon him by or under this Act or any rules or bye-laws made thereunder.

(3) Subject to rules as may be prescribed by the State Government regarding discipline and control, the Secretary shall act in all matters under the control of the Sarpanch through whom he shall be responsible to the Gram Panchayat.

 

27. Other employees of the Gram Panchayats. Subject to such rules as may be prescribed in this behalf and with the previous approval of Panchayat Samiti, a Gram Panchayat may employ such other employees m are considered necessary for carrying out the duties imposed on it by this Act.

 

28. Provident Fund and gratuity for servants. A Gram Panchayat may, in accordance with rules made under this Act-

(a)                             establish and maintain a provident fund on behalf of its employee and

(b)                             grant a gratuity to any servant subject to the previous approval of the Director Panchayats.

 

29. Dissolution of Gram Panchayat. (1) If in the State Government, a Gram Panchayat abuses its powers or is not competent to perform or makes persistent defaults in the performance of its duties under this Act or willfully disregards any instructions given or directions issued by the Panchayat Samiti or Zila Parishad or any instructions issued by the State Government arising out of the audit of accounts of the Gram Panchayat or inspection of work, the State Government may, after giving the Gram Panchayat an opportunity to render explanation, by an order published, alongwith the reasons thereof, in the Official Gazette, dissolve such Gram Panchayat.

            (2)  When a Gram Panchayat is dissolved under sub-section (1) -

(i)                Sarpanch, and all Panches shall vacate their offices forthwith;

(ii)               All powers and duties of the Gram Panchayats during its dissolution, shall be exercised and performed by such person or persons as the State Government may appoint in this behalf; and

(iii)       all property in the possession of the Gram Panchayat shall be he by the State Government.

(3) Upon dissolution of Gram Panchayat under sub-section (1), the State Government shall reconstitute a Gram panchayat as specified under section 10 and election to reconstitute such Gram Panchayat shall be completed before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of dissolution:

Provided that where the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Gram Panchayat would have continued is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election under this sub-section for reconstituting the Gram Panchayat for such period.

(4)  Gram Panchayat reconstituted upon the dissolution of the existing Gram Panchayat before the expiration or its duration, shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Gram Panchayat would have continued under section 15 had it not been so dissolved.

 

NOTES

Right to be Elected Panch is not a Fundamental Right  – Te right to get elected as a Panch is a civil right and not a fundamental right guaranteed by Constitution.

Reservation for Scheduled Caste – One seat was reserved for Scheduled Castes, but no Scheduled Caste was living in the village, this does not vitiate the entire election.  The reserves cold be filled from general category.

Technical Breach of Election Rules – The election of Panches and Sarpanches cannot be set aside by the High Court in exercise of its power under Article 226 of the constitution of India, there nothing more than a technical breach of an election rule has occurred and no real prejudice has been proved to have been caused to the petitioner.

Election not to be Set Aside on Mere Technicalities – An election is a time consuming process involving of a lot of expense.  If it is established that the voters have been able to make their choice in a free manner, the elections should not be set aside on mere technicalities.  A Court of Law charged with the duty of determining the validity of an election must lean in favour of the Will of the people.  This principal is firmly established in our system of law relating to election.  Section 100 of the Representation of People Act, 1951, also provides that the election of returned candidate can be declared void on account of any non-compliance with the provisions of the Constitution or of the Act or the rules framed thereunder only if such non-compliance with the statutory provisions has materially affected the result of the election. 

Election Petition – Maintainability. – The Plea on basis of which the election is to be satisfied should be precise and exact.  In case of vague plea the election petition is to be rejected out right.  In case one plea fails the election petition can be allowed on the basis of the other plea.

Single Election Petition for both Sarpanch and Panch. – The Challenge to election of Sarpanch on the ground that a particular Panch was not duly elected and therefore net entitled to participate in election of Sarpanch depends on determination whether that Panch was duly elected or not.  Two causes of action being so inextricably mixed up and inter-related that they must be treated as forming one composite cause of action.  Single election petition both against Sarpanch and Panch is competent.

Restoration of election petition dismissed in default.- Every election petition is to be tried, as nearly as possible in accordance with the procedure applicable under Code of Civil Procedure to the trial suits.   In Election petition dismissed in default is to be restore where reasonable cause is soon by the petitioner.

            Scheduled Caste candidates not joined in election process-effect. -  Where Scheduled Caste candidates or non-Scheduled Caste candidates not allowed to join election process and election held amongst remaining candidates.  It is similar position to improper rejection of nomination pagers.  Result of election materially affected ipso facto.  Fresh poll ordered while accepting election petition.

            Meeting-Quorum. – Meetings in absence of quorum are not valid.  A meeting convent to consider motion of no confidence against Sarpanch without prescribed quorum is no meeting.

            Meeting – Absence of quorum. – A meeting convened to consider motion of no-confidence against Sarpanch.  Prescribed quorum not present.  No meeting since no quorum.  The motion of no-confidence at adjourned meeting cannot be carried by a majority of members present.  Statutory requirement that majority of members constituting Gram Panchayat should vote for motion of no-confidence must be satisfied.

            Removal of Sarpanch and Panches without notice and enquiry - The power to remove any Panch, is to be exercise “after such enquiry as it may deem fit” and where on the material placed before the High court, the only finding possible was that there had been no enquiry as contemplated by the Statute before the Sarpanch and the Panches were removed, it quashed the orders of removal of the Sarpanch and the Panches.

            Removal of Sarpanch - Order should be speaking order. – It was his duty to confine the consideration of the material available against the Sarpanch only to the charges which had been leveled against him and which had been made the subject-matter of the notice.  While acting on the report the Deputy Commissioner did not look into it and passed a mechanical order accepting it in toto.  Had he perused it, he would have at once seen that it went beyond the scope of the charges and would not have taken into consideration that part of it which was not germane to the enquiry entrusted to the Enquiry Officer.  Inasmuch as the order of removal of the Sarpanch is not a “speaking order” and has been passed without giving any real consideration to the charges leveled against the Sarpanch and the findings arrived at thereon by he Enquiry Officer, it is liable to be quashed.

 

CHAPTER – III

FUNCTIONS, POWERS AMD DUTIES OF GRAM

 PANCHAYATS

30.  Functions of Gram Panchayats.  Subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the State Government from time to time, the Gram Panchayat having regard to the availability of funds at its disposal, shall perform the function specified below: -

(I) General function -

(i)                               Preparation of annual plans for the development of the panchayat area;

(ii)                              Preparation of annual budget;

(iii)                            Mobilising reliefs in natural calamities including relief to the poor;

(iv)                            Removal or encroachments on public properties;

(v)                             Organizing voluntary labour and contribution for community works;

(vi)                            Maintenance of essential statistics of village;

(vii)                          Rendering assistance and implementation of development schemes pertaining to the village through its Gram Sabha;

(viii)                         Promotion of unity and harmony among all the sections of society in the village;

(II)      Construction, repair and maintenance of community assets -

(a)               any public place including its sanitation and drains;

(b)               wells, water-pumps, baolies, springs, ponds and tanks for the supply of water for drinking, washing and bathing;

(c)               burial and cremation grounds;

(d)               the lighting of public places;

(e)               buildings for the accommodation of travelers;

(f)                ponds for animals, cattle and sheds for cart, bicycle, rickshaw, and auto stand;

(g)               public gardens, playgrounds, establishment and maintenance of recreation parks, organization of games and sports, supply of sports materials and holding of tournaments;

(h)               libraries and reading-rooms;

(i)                 the construction, repair and maintenance of public places and buildings of public utility under its own control or transferred to it by the State Government or any other authority;

(j)                 allotment of places for preparation and conservation of manure, and shifting them to far away places;

(k)               construction and maintenance of culverts and bridges; and slaughter-houses;

(l)                 the laying out of new roads and pathways and maintenance of existing ones;

(m)             supply of water for domestic use and for cattle;

(n)               community listening;

(o)               prevention and control of pollution;

(p)               maintenance of boats, ferries and all water ways;

(q)               promotion of family welfare and population control;

(r)                cleaning of public roads, drains, tanks, wells and other public places;

(s)               construction and maintenance of public latrines;

(t)                disposal of unclaimed corpses and carcasses;

(u)               manatgement and control of washing and bathing ghats.

III       Agriculture Including Agriculture Extension –

(a)               Promotion and development of Agriculture and horticulture;

(b)               Development of waste lands;

(c)               Development and maintenance of grazing lands and preventing their unauthorized alienation and use;

(d)               Destruction of weeds and pests;

(e)               Training and carrying out schemes for the improved methods of cultivation and management of lands to increase production;

(f)                The organization of young Farmers Clubs;

(g)               Promotion of agricultural credit and of measures including establishment of provision and implement stores and credit centers to relieve rural indebtedness and poverty.

(IV)     Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Poultry-

(a)               Improvement of breed of cattle, poultry and other livestock;

(b)               Promotion of dairy farming, poultry and piggery;

(c)               Grass-land development, preparation and distribution of improved variety of seeds of fodder and grass;

(d)               The voluntary registration of sales of cattle, camels and horses;

(e)               Collection and destruction of stray animals;

(f)                First-aid centers, dispensaries and hospitals for animals including their health-care.

(V)       Fisheries

            Promotion and development of fisheries in the village. 

 

(VI)     Social and Farm Forestry, Minor Forest Produce Fuel and Fodder -

(a)               Planting and preservation of trees on the sides of roads and other public lands under its control;

(b)               Fuel plantations and fodder development.

(c)               Promotion of farm forestry;

(d)               Development of social forestry.

(VII)    Khadi, Village and Cottage Industries -

(a)               Promotion of Agro based rural and cottage industries;

(b)               Organization of awareness caps, seminars and training programmes, agricultural and industrial exhibitions for the benefit of the rural areas.

(VIII)  Rural Housing -

(a)               Distribution of house sites within its jurisdiction;

(b)               Maintenance of records relating to the house sites and other private and public properties.

(IX)     Rural Electrification including Distribution of Electricity -

            providing for and maintenance of lighting of public streets and other places.

(X)       Non-Conventional Energy Source

(a)               promotion and development of non-conventional energy schemes;

(b)               maintenance of community non-conventional energy devices, including bio-gas plants;

(c)               propagation of improved chulhas and other efficient energy devices.

(XI)     Poverty Alleviation Programme -

(a)               promotion of public awareness and participation in poverty alleviation programmes for fuller employment and creation productive assets etc.;

(b)               selection of beneficiaries under various programmes through Gram Sabhas;

(c)               participation in effective implementation and monitoring.

(XII)    Education including primary and secondary schools -

(a)               Promotion of public awareness and participation in primary and secondary education;

(b)               ensuring full enrolment and attendance in primary schools and its management;

(c)               providing such educational facilities as may be deemed necessary and desirable.

(XIII)  Adult and Non-formal Education-Promotion of Adult Literacy-

(XIV)   Cultural Activities -

(a)               promotion of social and cultural activities;

(b)               the organisation of Mahila Madals, orgnisation of Youth Clubs for promoting games and sports and execution of development, social and cultural activities in the Sabha areas;

(XV)        Fairs and festivals –

(a)               organisation and celebration of public festivals and fairs other than religious festivals;

(b)               to organise, regulate and control local markets for sale and purchase of any product;

(XVI)     Public Health and Family Welfare –

(a)               implementation of family welfare and population control programmes;

(b)               prevention and remedial measures against epidemics;

(c)               regulation of sale of meat, fish and other perishable food articles;

(d)               participation in programmes of human and animal vaccination;

(e)               licensing of eating and entertainment establishments;

(f)                destruction of stray dogs;

(g)               regulation of curing, tanning and dyeing of skins and hides;

(h)               regulation of offensive and dangerous trades;

(XVII)  Women and Child Development –

(a)               participation in the implementation of women and child welfare programmes;

(b)               promotion of school health and nutrition programmes;

(c)               establishment, maintenance and management of maternity and child welfare centres and the construction and repair of all buildings connected therewith;

(XVIII)                      Social Welfare including welfare of the handicapped and mentally retarded –

(a)               participation in the implementation of the social welfare  programmes, including welfare of the handicapped, mentally retarded and destitute;

(b)               monitoring of the old age and widows pension schemes.

(XIX)     Welfare of weaker: sections and in particular the Scheduled Caste

(a)               promotion of public awareness with regard to welfare of Scheduled castes and other weaker sections;

(b)               participation in the implementation of the specific programmes for the welfare of the weaker sections;

(XX)        Public Distribution System –

(a)               promotion of public awareness with regard to the distribution of essential commodities;

(b)               monitoring the public distribution system.

 

31. Assignment of functions of Gram Panchayats. (1) The State Government may, by notification and subject to such conditions as may be specified thereunder, assign to the Gram Panchayat such other functions which may be deemed fit and proper for proper control, management and administration of the Gram Panchayats.

(2) The State Government shall from time to time allot to the Gram Panchayat such funds or place at the disposal of the Gram Panchayat such sources of income as it may deem proper and sufficient for proper discharge of functions to be entrusted under sub-section (1).

 

Contents    Next