Other States

Notice to Haryana govt. over Panchayati Raj Act

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Haryana government over certain amendments on reservation system to the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Act, 2020.

Karandeep Dalal, counsel for the petitioners said that the Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli has issued the notice for reply to the Haryana government by April 20.

The petition filed by two women, who had held posts of member in Panchayati Raj institutions have challenged the recently passed Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Act, 2020, particularly relating to the scheme of reservation provided therein.

The petitioners have submitted that the Act has inter alia amended sections 9, 59 and 120 of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, that deals with the reservation of seats in Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad.

The petition said as per the amended sub section (1) of sections 9, 59 and 120 of the Amendment Act, all wards are to be sequentially numbered viz. odd and even for the purposes of reservation of seats. Also, as per amended sub sections (3) and (6) of Sections 9, 59 and 120, the posts of Sarpanch, Members and Chairman falling in even numbered wards have been reserved for women — falling in both categories viz. reserved and general. In so far as the odd numbered wards are concerned, the Act provides that “persons other than women” can contest from such wards, it added.

‘Women excluded’

The counsel for the petitioner argued that the term “persons other than woman” has not been defined under the amendment and would logically include males and transgenders and exclude women. The amendment thus restricts women candidates from contesting from odd numbered wards which are otherwise open or general wards. “The amendment discriminates between eligible women and their male counterparts, which is in violation of Articles 14 and 15 of Constitution,” pointed out Mr. Dalal.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 4:07:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/notice-to-haryana-govt-over-panchayati-raj-act/article33612436.ece

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