The Telangana Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was introduced in Telangana Assembly on September 27, 2021.  The Bill seeks to amend the Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 2018.  The Act provides for the constitution of Gram Panchayats, Mandal Praja Parishads, and Zilla Praja Parishads and matters related to their governance.  The Bill amends the Act to change the process of formation of villages and alteration of their name and boundaries.  Key features of the Bill are:

  • Declaration of a village: Under the Act, Schedule VIII provides the list of villages in the state and their jurisdiction.  The government may amend the Schedule through a notification.  Such amendments may be for: (i) forming a new village, (ii) altering the boundaries or name of a village, (iii) describing the area of a village, and (iv) merging a village or a part of a village to any urban local body.  The Bill changes this process by providing that the Legislature may modify the Schedule by amending the Act.
  • According to the Statement of Objects and Reasons (SOR) of the Bill, the existing procedure to amend the Schedule is elaborate and time taking.  It requires the draft notification to be laid before each House of the Legislature, while they are in session, for 30 days, before it is notified.  Through the new process, the Bill seeks to reduce the time taken to amend the Schedule.
  • Disqualification of candidates: Under the Act, the State Election Commission can disqualify a person from contesting any election held for any office under the Act if he fails to lodge an account of his election expenses.  If he has no good reason or justification for the failure: (i) he will be declared ineligible for 3 years to contest any election under the Act and (ii) cease to hold office if elected.  The Bill replaces the word ‘person’ with ‘contesting candidate for the post of Sarpanch, Member of Mandal Praja Parishad Territorial Constituency and Member of Zilla Praja Parishad Territorial Constituency’.  As per the SOR of the Bill, this amendment seeks to remove ambiguity in the provision.



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