Auditing accounts, exempted states & bar on interference by courts

Q.  Which of the following is/are true regarding Panchayati Raj system?

1) The act won’t apply to Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
2) Allotment of seats in constituencies for Panchayat elections cannot be questioned in any court of law.

- Published on 10 Mar 17

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. None of the above

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2
    Audit of Accounts -

  • Article 243 J - The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provisions with respect to the maintenance of accounts by the Panchayats and the auditing of such accounts.

  • Application to Union Territories -

  • Article 243 L - The president of India may specify exceptions and modifications while applying the provisions of this act to any union territory subject.

  • Exempted States and Areas -

  • Article 243 M - States of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram and certain other areas are exempted from application of this act.

  • The act won’t apply to the scheduled areas and the tribal areas in the states.

  • The act also won’t apply to the hill area of Manipur for which a district council exists and Darjeeling district of West Bengal for which Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council exists.

  • But, the Parliament may extend the provisions of this Part to the scheduled areas subject to such exceptions and modifications as it may specify.

  • Under this provision, the Parliament has enacted the ‘Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act’, 1996 (PESA).

  • Continuance of Existing Laws and Panchayats -

  • Article 243 N - All the state laws relating to Panchayats shall continue to be in force for one year from the commencement of this act.

  • Thus the states have to adopt the new panchayati raj system based on this act within a maximum period of one year from 24 April, 1993 (date of the commencement of this act).

  • But, all the existing Panchayats shall continue till the expiry of their term, unless dissolved by the state legislature sooner.

  • Bar to Interference by Courts in Electoral Matters -

  • Article 243 O - The validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made or purporting to be made under article 243 K, shall not be called in question in any court.

  • No election to any Panchayat shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as is provided for by or under any law made by the Legislature of a State.

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