Panchayats enjoy Constitutional status, rules Supreme Court

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July 10, 2012 at 12:12 am #3527

A Supreme Court ruling has now given us the much sought after clarification on the powers of panchayats in Goa.

Several years of people’s efforts to protect the constitutional rights of panchayats, amidst efforts from the (former) State Government to take away the powers of panchayats, has finally born fruits, thanks to the recent proactiveness of the Calangute village panchayat.

It is a time for all villagers of Goa to celebrate!

The Supreme Court ruled a case in favor of the Calangute panchayat based on the clauses in the 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution, which the Goa State Government has been attempting to overshadow in a bid for power and control over rural Goa.

A few important points, as clarified and re-iterated by the Supreme Court ruling:

(Reference: Herald)

* Panchayats have been conferred the status of a constitutional body.
* “Parliament has ensured that the Panchayats would no longer perform the role of simply executing the programmes and policies evolved by the political executive of the state.”
* “The panchayats have been empowered to formulate and implement their own programs of economic development and social justice in tune with their status as the third tier of Government which is mandated to represent the interests of the people living within its jurisdiction” – which means us, YOU & ME.
* “An analysis of Article 40 and Articles 243 to 243-O shows that the framers of the Constitution had envisaged village panchayat to be the foundation of the country’s political democracy – a decentralised form of government where each village was to be responsible for its own affairs,” the Bench said.
* “The provisions contained in Part IX provide firm basis for self-governance by the people at the grass root through the institution of panchayats at different levels.”
* “The conceptualisation of the village panchayat as a unit of self government having the responsibility to promote social justice and economic development and as a representative of the people within its jurisdiction must be borne in mind while interpreting the laws enacted by the state which seek to define the ambit and scope of the powers and the functions of Panchayats at various levels.”

Cheers! We’ve now got much power to save our villages.

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July 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm #3531

With great power, comes great responsibility!

It is great to have powers conferred upon panchayats (and consequently to each one of us, villagers) but it would be a shame to not make good use of those powers.

If the common man does not participate actively towards developing villages and monitoring the activities of local bodies, things could be worse than what they could be with panchayats just being puppets of the State Government.

This is a wake-up call to get up and exercise your powers. Saving the world starts with saving your village.

September 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm #4614

The Chief Ministers are doing their best to dilute the powers of the Gram Sabhas, who elect the Panchayat members. The Gram Sabha members are only meant to seek votes for those standing for elections. Once they are seated on the Khursi (chair) the Gram Sabha members have no right to question them. Now the Panch Members are working overtime to reduce the Gram Sabha meetins to just two in a year, so that they face less embarassment and questions. The latest trend is to put up notices at the Gram Sabha Meetings not permiting questions. Who says the Supreme Court has the powers and if so, why are their orders flaunted. Further the Parliamentarians now want to make ammendments to give them more power and make them more powerful than the Supreme Court. Yehi he hamara Hindustan, Jiska Shaan heh Corruption. Kya Hindustan heh hamara Mahan??????

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