Governor urged to intervene in sarpanches’ suspension

Forum for Good Governance has appealed to Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Wednesday to direct the district Collectors concerned to suspend the sarpanches only in the case of misappropriation of funds or abuse of power for gain by amending Section 37 of Telangana Panchayat Act of 2018.

FGG secretary M. Padmanabha Reddy informed in a written communication that about 150 sarpanches have been removed in the last couple of years ever since the TS government had passed the Act giving powers to Collectors to remove sarpanches for any misconduct, misappropriation of funds and abuse of position. A fee of ₹25,000 has to be paid to the Gram Panchayat Tribunal for appeal.

Since the fee to appeal to the tribunal is too high, the sarpanches have been approaching the High Court for justice, he said and urged reduction in the fees to ₹100. Giving an example of the arbitrariness of the Collectors in suspending the sarpanches, he gave the example of Peddakodepaka village in Warangal district where the village head was suspended for six months for boycotting an official programme along with other ZPTC/MPTC elected members for denial of land for setting up a electric sub-station.

“Protest is a democratic right and only the sarpanch was suspended for this act though he did not do anything violating the Act. The boycott was to highlight the problem concerning the entire village and non-cooperation of the Collector. FGG has reason to believe that many are being suspended at the instance of local ministers or MLAs based on political affiliations,” he said.

The Governor could advice the Collectors to go slow on suspensions of the sarpanches on flimsy grounds till the amendments to the Act are carried out, he added, in the communication.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:36:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/fgg-flags-issue-of-sarpanches-suspension-to-governor/article35448631.ece

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