Bill to give 50% quota to women in Panchayats in Jharkhand

An amendment bill to provide 50 per cent reservation to women in Panchayats in Jharkhand and to bring the present law in conformity with the Constitution was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2010, 22:18 PM IST

New Delhi: An amendment bill to provide 50
per cent reservation to women in Panchayats in Jharkhand and
to bring the present law in conformity with the Constitution
was introduced in the Lok Sabha today.

Since the state is under President`s rule, Rural
Development and Panchayati Raj Minister C P Joshi introduced
the Jharkhand Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

The amendment bill was required for aligning the
provisions of the Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act, 2001 with the
constitutional provisions and also for providing not less than
50 per cent reservation of seats and offices of chairpersons
in the Panchayats in favour of women, the bill read.

The bill will replace an Ordinance issued by the Jharkhand
Governor in April this year to amend the Act. The Ordinance
was issued as the state Assembly was not in session. But
later, President`s rule was imposed on the state, making it
necessary to table the bill in Parliament.

Elections to panchayats in Jharkhand could not be held so
far due to various reasons, including pendency of certain
litigations.

The Jharkhand High Court had recently declared as
unconstitutional certain clauses of the Panchayats (Extension
to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 and those of the Jharkhand
Panchayat Raj Act, 2001 relating to reservation policy.

Following protracted legal battle which also included
appeals in the Supreme Court, the Centre decided to amend
certain provisions of the Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act, 2001 to
bring it in conformity with certain provisions of the
Constitution.

PTI