<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The president of a district panchayat has challenged an amendment made to the Panchayat Act by the state government in the Gujarat High Court.In 2015, the state had amended the Panchayat Act reducing the district panchayat’s president and vice president’s term from five years to two and half years.The amendment has been challenged by the president of Bhavnagar District Panchayat on grounds of equality, whose contention is that panchayat tenure and president and vice president’s tenure are co-existant. Any change in this term is in violation of article 14 and 243(a) of the constitution. When the petition came up for hearing, before the first division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice Vipul Pancholi, on Friday, petitioner’s advocate AJ Yagnik sought time to carry out research and add more citation. The matter will be heard next week.The petition states that in 2015, the state government had made an amendment in the Panchayat Act 1993 section 81(2) through which it had intended to reduce the tenure of Panchayat president and vice president. The petition argues that when the panchayat term is fixed for five years, how can the term of the president/vice president can be reduced.The petition cited examples of Maharastra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh where the term of the president and vice president is five years. Even the Panchayat act’s section 81 also states same of co-existance of tenure of president/vice president with the panchayat term.The petitioner’s prayer is the state action is counter rational of not keeping co-extensive duration of Panchayat and that of its elected representatives.The petitioner prayed that till it is decided, the court should stay the effect of the amendment and declare Section 81(2) illegal, unconstitutional and ultra vires.THE PETITIONThe petitioner has contended that the panchayat tenure and president and vice president’s tenure are co-existant.
Any change in term is in violation of article 14 and 243(A) of the constitution.