Six gram panchayat members disqualified in 1 yr for misuse of power
Six members of gram panchayat in the Pune division have been disqualified in the last one year. While one of them is from Pune, the others are from Kolhapur and Satara. These members were found misusing powers under the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act, 1958.
"These persons have been found violating the rules mentioned in Section 39 (1) of Panchayat Act. Action against the members was taken after all the gram panchayat members agreed for it,'' said a senior official from the divisional commissionerate.
But recently, the Bombay High Court had held that a member of the village panchayat cannot be disqualified just because her spouse had encroached upon a government land or public property. Officials said such decisions would hinder their effort to make gram panchayat transparent.
The court has stated that to incur disqualification under the law such encroachment should have been done by the member and not by his or her spouse. Thus, the court quashed the order of the Pune Divisional Commissioner which had disqualified Yallubai Kamble, sarpanch of Phaye village in Kolhapur district. Divisional Commissionerate officials said gram panchayat members themselves had agreed to disqualify him.
"There were complaints and the decision was taken after the hearing,'' said the official. Now with the court observing in her favour by stating that it is not the petitioner who has committed the crime, divisional commissionerate officials said "such favours are rampant at village levels".
Officials said the disqualification is done after a thorough assessment and in agreement with gram sabha members. In the last one year, members from Wadanage, Daryache Wadgaon, Kasarwadi, Chokak in Kolhapur and Deogaon in Satara and Keshavnagar grampanchayat in Pune were disqualified under the same section. "There is definitely irregularity found in their functioning. It could also amount to misuse of power and some of them do pass on the favours. This is serious and a member is disqualified after a decision by the gram panchayat and a hearing before the additional commissioner,'' said the member.
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