73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments
In December 1992, Parliament adopted 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments. These amendments have implemented local self-governance in rural and urban India. The Acts came into force on 24 April 1992 with the Constitution (seventh amendment) Act, 1992, the constitution (seventh amendment) Act and on 1 June 1993 with a constitution (seventh amendment) Act.
Amendments added to the Constitution two new sections: the seventh amendment, Part IX entitled’ The Panchayats,’ and Part IXA,’ The Municipalities,’ the seventh amendment. Following 43 years of Indian republics, local authorities–”Panchayats “and” Municipalities “– came under Part IX and IXA of the Constitution. The features of the constitution 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts Panchayats and municipalities will be’ self-government institutions.’
- Sabhas (villages) and Ward Committees (municipalities) basic units of the democracy system-Gram comprising all adult members registered as electors.
- (Article 243B) The 3-tier panchyat scheme in the village, intermediate block / taluk / mandal, and district is less than 20 lakhs in states with a population.
- Seats at all levels to be filled by direct elections [Article 243C (2)].
- Seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs)
and chairpersons of the Panchayats at all levels also shall be reserved
for SCs and STs in proportion to their population.
- One-third of the total number of seats to be reserved for women. One-
third of the seats reserved for SCs and STs also reserved for women.
One-third offices of chairpersons at all levels reserved for women
- Uniform five year term and elections to constitute new bodies to be
completed before the expiry of the term. In the event of dissolution,
elections compulsorily within six months (Article 243E).
- Independent Election Commission in each State for superintendence,
direction and control of the electoral rolls (Article 243K).
- Panchayats to prepare plans for economic development and social justice in respect of subjects as devolved by law to the various levels of Panchayats including the subjects as illustrated in Eleventh Schedule (Article 243G).
- 74th Amendment provides for a District Planning Committee to
consolidate the plans prepared by Panchayats and Municipalities
- Funds: Budgetary allocation from State Governments, share of
revenue of certain taxes, collection and retention of the revenue it
raises, Central Government programmes and grants, Union Finance
Commission grants (Article 243H).
- Establish a Finance Commission in each State to determine the
principles on the basis of which adequate financial resources would be ensured for panchayats and municipalities (Article 243I).
Other Important Provisions of Part IX of the
Part IX contains Article 243 and Articles 243A to 243-O.
- Article 243 of the definitions has defined different terms as the following: “district” means a district in a country; “gram Sabha” implies an entity composed of individuals registered on an electoral roll pertaining to a village located within a district of Panchayat at village level;
- Article 243A authorizes a Gram Sabha to exercise these powers and exercise such responsibilities at the level of the village as required by law.
- The region of Panchayat shall be subdivided into territory. The state is empowered to represent the chairs of the Gram Panchayats, at village, intermediate, or district level, of the Panchayats; and LS / RS MPs and MLAs / MLCs at a level other than village level in that Panchayat, where elected as intermediate and district voters at Panchayat.
- The President of Gram Panchayat shall be appointed in the way prescribed by law and the President of a Panchayat shall be elected by and from the elected members on the intermediary level or the district level.
- In accordance with Article 243J, the Legislature of a State may create provision for the maintenance and audit of the Panchayats ‘ accounts.
- Article 243L provides that the provisions of the Part IX shall apply to the Union territories.
- In accordance with Article 243(O), the Court can not interfere in electoral affairs, such as the validity of any law on electoral delimitation or allocation of seats in such circles. There can be no election to a panchayat except in an election petition as provided for by any legislation of a State Legislature.