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Conduct rural polls by December: Guwahati HC to Arunachal Pradesh govt

The Guwahati High Court has directed the Arunachal Pradesh government to conduct the rural polls in the state by December this year.

The term of the three-tier Panchayat bodies had expired on May 31.

A change in the structure from the three-tier Panchayati Raj system to a two-tier one has apparently delayed the rural election in the state.

The directions by Itanagar permanent bench of Guwahati High Court on Wednesday came in the wake of a writ petition filed by former Kurung Kumey Zilla Parishad chairman Sangha Tagik seeking the court’s intervention in view of the delay in the conduct of panchayat polls.

The court 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 by November 30, 2018, and thereafter the state Election Commission shall start its exercise for holding the general election to the Panchayats.”

It also directed the Arunachal Pradesh government 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 media.

The article says that an election to constitute a panchayat shall be completed a) before the expiry of its duration and b) before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.

The Arunachal Pradesh assembly had in March passed The Arunachal Pradesh Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2018, to have a 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.

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