|October 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm #4756|
With the government still dilly dallying on holding election for the vacant posts of sarpanch and deputy sarpanch of Dramapur-Sirlim Panchayat, questions have come to the fore in panchayat and legal circles whether the 60-day time frame at the disposal of the Panchayat Director for filling up the vacancies should undergo an amendment to check manipulations.
Two days after the Salcete Panchayat forum came out in favour of reducing the 60-day time frame to 15 days, former member of the Goa Law Commission, Adv Cleofato Coutinho e Almeida asserted that the vacant post of sarpanch should be filled up within seven days.
“Panchayats today enjoy the Constitutional status by virtue of the 73rd Amendment. The existing provision giving two months time for the Panchayat Director to fill up the vacancy will only help ministers and MLAs to manipulate the election process,” Cleofato said.
He said there ought not to be a vacuum in the panchayat body after a sarpanch is voted out of office in a no-trust motion. “I feel that the Panchayat Directors should be pre-active in filling up the vacant posts and should not wait till the expiry of the 60-day period,” he said.
Replying to a question, Cleofato further said the rule should be suitably amended to ensure that the vacancies are filled up within seven days or minimum time from the day the sarpanch is voted out of office.
Convenor of Forum of Salcete Sarpanchas and Raia Sarpanch, Xavier said that the Forum has taken a decision that the vacant post of sarpanch should be filled up within 15 days. “15 days is enough for the Panchayat authorities to fill the vacuum,” he added.
Rachol Sarpanch Joseph Vaz also echoed similar sentiments. “I don’t think the Panchayat Director should require two months to hold the election to the vacant posts. Ideally, 15 days should be adequate to fill up the vacancies, while the maximum time frame can be one month,” he added.
In the instant case of Dramapur-Sirlim village panchayat, though the sarpanch and deputy were voted out of office in a no-trust motion on August 27, the Panchayat Director has still not filled up the vacant posts. On September 27, the Panchayat Director had fixed the election, but the same was called off for want of a presiding officer. It has been 10 days now after the incident triggered outrage, but that has not moved the government to fill up the vacancies at the earliest. The Panchayat Director has time till October 27 to fill up the vacancies.
Source/Reference: Herald, “Strong views against time frame for filling p’yat posts“