Itanagar, July 20: In a landmark judgement, the Gauhati High Court has directed the Arunachal Pradesh government to conduct Panchayat election by December this year. The term of the then three-tier Panchayat bodies had expired on May 31 last.
A change in structure from the three-tier Panchayati Raj system to a two-tier one has apparently delayed the rural election in the state.
The High Court’s directions came in the wake of a writ petition (WP(C) 231(AP)/2018) filed by former Kurung Kumey ZPC Sangha Tagik in the Itanagar Permanent Bench of the court, calling for its intervention for delay in conduction of panchayat polls.
The HC, in its judgment said: “A writ of mandamus is hereby issued to avert a constitutional crisis in the state, directing the government of Arunachal Pradesh to suitably revise its action plan, so as to complete the exercise byNovember 30, 2018 and thereafter the state Election Commission shall start its exercise for holding the general election to the Panchayats. Writ of mandamus is further issued directing the Government of Arunachal Pradesh and its functionaries to render all cooperation and assistance to the State Election Commission in discharging its constitutional obligation of holding a smooth and fair election.”
“It is further directed that the entire process shall not continue beyond December 12, 2018, keeping in mind that the mandate of Article 243 E (3) of the Constitution of India cannot be diluted by introducing any amendment to the statutory law of the subject,” read the judgment, a copy of which was made available to the Press.
It is to mention here that the State Legislative Assembly had in March last passed ‘The Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2018’ to have two-tier Panchayati Raj system, thereby removing the Anchal Samitis at the intermediate level, in consonance with Article 243(B) of the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992.