Section 9   [ View Judgements ]

Power to remove difficulties


CHAPTER I.

PRELIMINARY



1. Short title and commement .- This Act may be called the Bombay Village Panchayats and the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis (Amendment) Act, 2003.



CHAPTER II.

AMENDMENTS TO THE BOMBAY VILLAGE PANCHAYATS ACT, 1958



2. Deletion of Section 8A of Bom. III of 1959 .- Section 8A of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as "the Village Panchayats Act"), Shall be deleted.



3. Deletion of Section 45A of Bom. III of 1959 .- Section 45A of the Village Panchayats Act shall be deleted.



4. Insertion of new Chapter III-A in Bom. III of 1959 .- After Chapter III of the Village Panchayats Act, the following new Chapter shall be inserted, namely -



"CHAPTER III-A SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR GRAM SABHA AND PANCHAYAT IN SCHEDULED AREAS



54A. Powers and duties of Gram Subha in Scheduled Areas,:-It shall be competent for every Gram Sabha in the Scheduled Areas,-



(a) to safeguard and preserve the traditions and customs of the tribals, their cultural identity, community resources and the customary mode of dispute resolutions;



(b) to approve the plans, programmes and projects to be implemented by the panchayat for social and economic development before such plans, programmes and projects are taken up for implementation by such panchayat;



(c) to issue to the panchayat certificate of utilisation of funds, spent by that panchayat for the plans, programmes and projects referred to in clause (b);



(d) to decide priority for implementation of various development schemes of the State or as the case may be, of the Central Government and also to identify and select persons as beneficiaries under the various poverty alleviation and similar other programmes or schemes;



(e) to enforce prohibition or regulate or restrict through panchayat concerned, the sale and consumption of intoxicants;



(f) to issue directions to the panchayat with regard to the regulation, exploitation, management and trade of minor forest produce vested in it, subject to the provisions of the Maharashtra Transfer of Ownership of Minor Forest Produce in the Scheduled Areas, and the Maharashtra Minor Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) (Amendment) Act, 1997;



(g) to make recommendations through the panchayat concerned to the Collector with a view to prevent alienation of land in the Scheduled Areas and to restore unlawfully alienated land of a Scheduled Tribe. It shall be incumbent on the Collector and the concerned panchayat to initiate necessary appropriate action for prevention or as the case may be, restoration of the land in the Scheduled Area unlawfully alienated;



(h) to be consulted through the panchayat concerned for grant of any licence for money lending under the Bombay Money Lenders Act, 1946 and to take annual review of the money lending business. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha concerned shall be binding on the concerned authorities and the panchayat at the appropriate level;



(i) to make recommendations to the panchayat concerned with a view to exercise control over local plans and resources for such plans including tribal sub-plans;



(j) to plan the minor water bodies and grant approval to the decision taken in this regard by the panchayat concerned.



Explanation:-For the purposes of this clause "minor water bodies" means any water storage and irrigation storage including village tanks, percolation tanks, lift irrigation works upto 100 hectares;



(k) to grant approval to the establishment of village market in the area of the village. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha for the establishment of a village market and for management thereof shall be binding on the panchayat;



(l) to be consulted before acquiring any land in the Scheduled Areas falling within its jurisdiction, for development projects and resetting or rehabilitating any person affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas;



(m) to be consulted before grant of any licence or any permission for prospective licence for mining lease for minor minerals by concession for the exploitation of minor minerals by auction. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha concerned shall be binding on the concerned authorities and the panchayat at the appropriate level;



(n) to monitor progress and supervise functioning of institutions and functionaries entrusted with implementation of social sector programmes in the village concerned and make suitable recommendations to the Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad with regard to implementation of social sector programmes. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Subha in this regard shall be binding on the panchayat at the appropriate level.



Explanation;-For the purposes of this clause and clause (d) of section 54B, "social sector" means any scheme, programme, project or work entrusted to a Zilla Parishad under the provisions of section 100, 102, 103 or 123 and to a Panchayat Samiti under section 101 of the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, so also to a panchayat under section 45 of this Act;



(o) to make recommendations through the panchayat concerned to the concerned authorities for felling of trees. Any recommendation made by the majority of the Gram Sabha shall be binding on the concerned authorities and the panchayat;



(p) to approve the budget for the panchayat. Any decision in this regard by the majority of the Gram Sabha shall be binding on the panchayat;



(q) to be consulted through the panchayat by any competent Authority in respect of land, water resources, forests and all other natural resources situated within the jurisdiction of such panchayat.



54B. Powers and duties of panchayats in Scheduled Areas:-Every panchayat in the Scheduled Areas shall,-



(a) obtain from the Gram Sabha a certification of utilisation of funds, spent by the panchayat for the plans, programmes and projects approved under clause (b) of section 54A;



(b) be consulted by the Land Acquisition Authority, before acquiring any land in the Scheduled areas falling within its jurisdiction, for development projects and re-setting or rehabilitating any person affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas :



Provided that, every panchayat shall consult the Gram Sabha before conveying its views to the Land Acquisition Authority concerned;



(c) be competent to make recommendations, to the licencing authorities concerned, and the licencing authorities shall not grant any licence or any permission for prospecting licence or mining lease for minor minerals and concessions for the exploitation of minor minerals by auction, in the Scheduled Areas, without consultation with the Gram Sabha. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha concerned shall be binding on the concerned authorities and the panchayat at the appropriate level;



(d) be competent to monitor progress and supervise functioning of institutions and functionaries entrusted with implementation of social sector programmes in the village concerned and make suitable recommendations to the Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad with regard to implementation of social sector programmes :



Provided that, every panchayat shall consult the Gram Sabha before conveying any recommendations to the Panchayat Samitis and the Zilla Parishad. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha in this regard shall be binding on the panchayat;



(e) be competent to make recommendations pertaining to alienation of land of the persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes, to the Collector with a view to prevent alienation of land in the Scheduled Areas and to restore unlawfully alienated land of a Scheduled Tribe :



Provided that, every panchayat shall consult the Gram Sahba before conveying any recommendation to the Collector;



(f) be competent to make any recommendation to the Registrar appointed under the Bombay Money Lenders Act, 1946 for grant of any licence for money lending. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha concerned shall be binding on the panchayat as well as on the concerned authorities at the appropriate level:



Provided that, every panchayat shall consult the Gram Sabha before conveying any recommendation to the Registrar :



Provided further that, the executive management of the money lending business shall be with the panchayat;



(g) be competent to regulate exploitation, management and trade of minor forest produce vested in it, subject to the provisions of the Maharashtra Transfer of Ownership of Minor Forest Produce in the Scheduled Areas, and the Maharashtra Minor Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) (Amendment) Act, 1997;



(h) be competent to manage the minor water bodies.



Explanation:-For the purposes of this clause "minor water bodies" means any water storage and irrigation storage including village tanks, percolation tanks, lift irrigation works upto 100 hectares;



(i) be competent to establish and manage a village market in the area of the village after obtaining approval therefor from the Gram Sabha. Any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Sabha in this regard shall be binding on the panchayat;



(j) in the Scheduled Areas where the population of the Scheduled Tribes is more than fifty per cent. of the total population, the Office of the Chairperson of such panchayat shall be reserved only for the persons belonging to Scheduled Tribes;



(k) be competent to make recommendations to the concerned authorities for felling of trees in the area of the village after obtaining recommendations of the Gram Sabha;



Provided that, any recommendations made by the Gram Sabha shall be binding on the panchayat;



(l) be competent to prepare the budget and to get it approved by the Gram Sabha;



Provided that, any decision taken by the majority of the Gram Subha concerned shall be binding on the Panchayat;



(m) be consulted by any competent authorities in respect of land, water resources, forests and all other natural resources situated within the jurisdiction of panchayat after making consultation with the Gram Sabha in this regard;



(n) be competent to get the plans, programmes and projects to be implemented for social and economic development before such plans, programmes and projects are taken up for implementation by such panchayat, approved by the Gram Sabha.



54 C. Meetings of Gram Subha:-(1) Secretary of the panchayat shall be the Secretary of the Gram Sabha and he shall be responsible to call the meetings of the Gram Sabha. Such Secretary shall prepare and maintain the proceedings of all meetings of the Gram Sabha or in his absence any officer authorised in this behalf by the person who is presiding over the meeting shall prepare such proceedings.



(2) Secretary of the panchayat shall convey the date, time and place of every meeting of the Gram Sabha, not less than fifteen clear days before the date fixed for such meetings to the concerned Officials and members of the Gram Sabha.



(3) The first meeting of the Gram Sabha in every financial year shall be presided over by the Sarpanch, or in his absence by the Upa-Sarpanch. In the absence of the Sarpanch and Upa-Sarpanch, the members of the Gram Sabha shall elect one of the members of the panchayat present to preside. All other meetings in the financial year shall be presided by such persons who shall be elected by the majority of the members of the Gram Sabha.



(4) Unless exempted by the Gram Sabha, every meeting of the Gram Sabha shall be attended by the concerned village Kotwal, Talathi, Police Patil, Health Officer, Head Master of the Primary and Secondary School, Agriculture Officer, Junior Engineer of Maharashtra State Electricity Board and Officers incharge of the Police Station.



(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any rules made thereunder, twenty-five per cent. of total number of persons included in the list of voters or hundred of such persons, whichever is less, shall form a quorum for a meeting of the Gram Sabha. It shall not be allowed to conduct any meeting including adjourned meeting without quorum.



(6) If any dispute arises between the Gram Sabhas or any matter concerning to more than one Gram Sabhas within the area of the panchayat, shall be brought before the joint meeting of all the Gram Sabhas of that Panchayat and the decision taken by majority at such joint meeting shall be deemed to be the decision taken, by each of the Gram Sabha.



54D. Motion of No Confidence:-(1) The Sarpanch and Upa-Sarpanch shall implement the suggestions and the resolutions made by the Gram Sabha. Any remiss on the part of such Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch, shall be liable for the disqualification for continuing as Sarpanch or, as the case may be Upa-Sarpanch, or for being chosen as such for the remainder of the term of office of the member of the panchayat, if the Gram Sabha makes resolution to that effect by three-fourth majority :



Provided that, no such resolution against the Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch shall come into effect without the prior approval of the Government.



(2) All officials of the panchayat shall implement the suggestions and the resolutions made by the majority of the Gram Sabha and shall submit their work report to the Gram Sabha. Any remiss on the part of such official shall be punishable departmentally, if Gram Sabha makes resolution to that effect by three-fourth majority :



Provided that, no such resolution against any official shall come into effect without the prior approval of the Government.



(3) A Sarpanch or, as the case may be, the Upa-Sarpanch shall cease to be Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch, if a motion of no confidence is passed by secret ballot at a special meeting of the Gram Sabha and conceded by the majority of more than fifty per cent. of the members of the Gram Sabha :



Provided that, a motion of the no confidence shall be moved by not less than one third of the total members of the Gram Sabha against Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch after giving notice thereof to the Secretary of the Gram Sabha. The Secretary of the Gram Sabha shall immediately deliver such notice to the Tahsildar.



(4) The Tahsildar after receipt of the notice, within fifteen days from the date of receipt of such notice shall convene a special meeting of Gram Sabha at the office of the panchayat for considering the motion of no confidence. The Officer not below the rank of Naib Tahsildar shall preside over such meeting. The Sarpanch or, as the case may be, the Upa-Sarpanch against whom the motion of no confidence is moved shall have a right to speak or otherwise to take part in the proceedings at the meeting (including the right to vote).



(5) The meeting called for considering the no confidence motion under subsection (4) shall not be adjourned for any reason unless the reasons therefor are recorded in writing by the Presiding Officer of the meeting.



(6) A motion of no confidence shall not be moved within a period of two and half years from the date of election of the Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch.



(7) If the Sarpanch, or as the case may be, the Upa-Sarpanch desires to dispute the validity of the motion of no confidence carried under sub-section (3), he shall, within fifteen days from the date on which such motion was carried, refer the dispute to the Collector who shall decide it, as far as possible, within fifteen days from the date on which it was received by him. Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Collector may, appeal to the Commissioner who shall decide the appeal, as far as possible, within fifteen days from the date on which it was received by him. Any such decision shall, subject to a second appeal under sub-section (8), shall be final.



(8) Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner, may, within fifteen days, appeal to the Government, and the decision of the Government shall be final.



(9) In case the offices of the Sarpanch or, as the case may be, the Upa-Sarpanch becomes vacant under sub-section (3) shall be filled, by the by-election of a Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch, within fifteen days from the date of vacancy of such post and he shall hold office so long as the Sarpanch or, as the case may be, Upa-Sarpanch, in whose place he has been elected would have held office if the vacancy had not occurred.



(10) A member shall cease to be a member of panchayat in the Scheduled Areas, if a motion of no confidence is passed by secret ballot by not less than fifty per cent. of the voters of the electoral ward from which such member has been elected :



Provided that, the provisions of sub-sections (3) to (9) shall mutatis-mutandis apply to such no confidence.".



CHAPTER III.

AMENDMENTS TO THE MAHARASHTRA ZILLA PARISHADS AND PANCHAYAT SAMITIES ACT, 1961



5. Amendment of section 42 of Mah. V of 1962 .- In section 42 of Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as "the Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samities Act"), in sub-section (4), in clause (a), after the third proviso, the following proviso shall be added, namely :-



"Provided also that, in a Zilla Parishad in the Scheduled Areas where the population of the Scheduled Tribes is more than fifty per cent. of the total population, the office of the President shall be reserved only for the persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes".



6. Amendment of section 67 of Mah. V of 1962 .- In section 67 of the Zilla parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, in sub-section (4), in clause (a), after the third proviso, the following proviso shall be added, namely : -



"Provided also that, in a Panchayat Samiti in the Scheduled Areas where the population of the Scheduled Tribes is more than fifty per cent. of the total population, the office of the Chairperson shall be reserved only for the persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes.".



7. Deletion of section 100A of Mah. V of 1962 .- Section 100A of the Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act shall be deleted.



8. Deletion of section 101B of Mah. V of 1962 .- Section 101B of the Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act shall be deleted.



CHAPTER IV.

MISCELLANEOUS



9. Power to remove difficulties .- (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of the Bombay Village Panchayats Act, 1958 or, the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis Act, 1961, as amended by this Act or by reason of anything contained therein, or giving effect to the provisions of any of those Acts in respect of the matters contained in this Act, the State Government may, as occassion arises, by order do anything not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, which appears to it to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of removing such difficulty :



Provided that, no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of two years from the date of commencement of this Act.



(2) Every Order made under sub-section (1) shall be laid, as soon as may be, after it is made, before each House of the State Legislature.



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