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EXTRACTS FROM THE ORISSA GRAMA PANCHAYAT ACT, 1964*

1. PRELIMINARY
2. GRAMA, GRAMA SASAN, GRAMA SABHA AND PALLI SABHA
3. CONSTITUTION OF GRAMA PANCHAYATS
4. OFFICE OF THE MEMBERS, SARPANCH AND NAIB-SARPANCH
5. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS AND ELECTION DISPUTES
6. CONTROL
7. ESTABLISHMENT AND CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
8. MISCELLANEOUS

CHAPTER I
PRELIMINARY

2. (F-1) “Election Commission” means the State Election Commission consisting of State Election Commissioner appointed by the Governor under Article 243-K of the Constitution.

(O-1) “Parishad” in relation to any Grama means the Zilla Panshad constituted under the Orissa Zilla Parishad Act, 1991 and having jurisdiction over the area comprised within the Grama.

(t) “Samiti” in relation to any Grama means the Panchayat Samiti constituted under the Orissa Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 and having jurisdiction over the area comprised within the said Grama.

(t-1) “Scheduled Area” means the Scheduled Areas as referred to in clause (1) of Article 244 of the Constitution.

CHAPTER II

GRAMA, GRAMA SASAN, GRAMA SABHA AND PALLI SABHA

 

  1. 3. (1) The State Government may for the purposes of this Act by declaration notified in the Gazette constitute any village or group of contiguous villages as a Grama and assign to such Grama, a name which shall be of one of the villages comprised within the Grama.

Explanation-Village intervened only by forest areas, hills, streams, rivers and such other natural barriers and lands not forming part of any village may be treated as contiguous villages :

Provided that in the Scheduled Areas, a Grama shall ordinarily consist of a habitation or a group of habitations or a hamlet or a group of hamlets comprising a community or communities and managing its affairs in accordance with traditions and customs.

 

  1. (1) For every Grama there shall be a Grama Sasan which shall be
    composed of all persons registered by virtue of the Representation of the
    People Act, 1950 in so much of the electoral roll for any Assembly
    Constituency for the time being in force as relates to the Grama and, unless
    the Election Commission directs otherwise, the said portion of the roll shall
    be deemed to be the electoral roll in respect of the Grama.

CHAPTER-III

CONSTITUTION OF GRAMA PANCHAYATS

 

  1. There shall be for every Grama Sasan a Grama Panchayat as
    hereinafter constituted which shall be the executive authority of the Grama
  2. (1) As soon as may be after the constitution of a Grama the Collector shall for the purpose of constitution of the Grama Panchayat determine the number of Wards into which the Grama is to be divided and the extent of each such Ward and shall prepare a statement showing the number of Wards and the extent of each Ward which shall be published by him in the prescribed manner for the prescribed period inviting objections from the persons interested to be filed within the said period :

“Provided that—

 

         9.(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of
electoral rolls for, and the conduct of all elections to the Grama Panchayats
shall be vested in the Election Commission.

  1. (1) Every Grama Panchayat shall be composed of the following members, namely-

 

 

 

Provided that where the population of the Scheduled Caste or, as the case may be, the Scheduled Tribes in the Grama is not sufficient for the reservation of any seat, one seat for the Scheduled Caste or, as the case may be, one seat, for the Scheduled Tribe shall be reserved in that Grama:

Provided further that in the Scheduled Areas, not less than one-half of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election shall be reserved for the Scheduled Tribes; and

    (b-1)As nearly as may be, but not less than, twenty-seven percentum of the seats of every Grama Panchayat shall be reserved in favour of backward class of citizens as referred to in clause (6) of Article 243-D of the Constitution in the prescribed manner and shall be allotted by rotation to different Wards thereof.

(b-2) As nearly as may be, but not less than, one-half* of the total number of seats reserved under clause (b-1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the backward class of citizens; and

 

 

 

Provided that in the Scheduled Areas, all the offices of Sarpanches in Grama Panchayats shall be reserved for the Scheduled Tribes.

 

 

  1. Notwithstanding anything in Section 10 no member of a Grama Sasan shall be eligible to stand for election—
  1. (1) A general election of the members of a Grama Panchayat shall be completed for the purpose of constituting a new Grama Panchayat under Section 7 or on the dissolution or supersession of a Grama Panchayat:

Provided that in the case of dissolution or supersession of a Grama Panchayat the reconstitution shall be within six months from the date of such dissolution or supersession, as the case may be:

Provided further that it shall not be necessary to reconsititute a Grama Panchayat where the Grama Panchayat is dissolved or superseded during the last six months of its term.

  1. (1) If for any reason whatsoever the concerned electorate fails to return a Sarpanch or a Naib-Sarpanch, or any other member a fresh election shall be held for the purpose; and if at such fresh election no person is elected the Subdivisional Officer shall nominate a person eligible for election to such Officer to be the Sarpanch, Naib-Sarpanch or such other member as the case may be, who shall on being so nominated to have been duly elected.

                (2) Where the office of the Sarpanch or the seat of any member is reserved under Section 10 for any particular category and the Sub-Collector fails to nominate under sub-section (1) a person to such office or seat as the case may be, for non-availability of an eligible person belonging to that category, such office or seat shall, on recommendation being made to that effect by the Sub-Collector, be dereserved by the Collector and after such enquiry as he may deem fit and shall, thereafter, be filled up by fresh election.

  1. (1) As soon as may be after the publication under Section 15 of the
    names of the members elected at a general election such members shall at
    the first meeting of the Grama Panchayat specially convened in that behalf
    elect in the prescribed manner from among themselves a Naib-Sarpanch:

Provided that in the case of every Grama Panchayat of which the
Sarpanch elected under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of Section 10 or
nominated under Section 13 is not a woman, the office of the Naib-Sarpanch
in respect of that Grama Panchayat shall be deemed to have been reserved
for women.

  1. Subject to the rules, if any, made in that behalf the names of all
    persons elected or nominated as Sarpanch, Naib-Sarpanch or any other
    member of the Grama Panchayat shall, as soon as may be after such election
    or nomination, be published by the prescribed authority in such manner as
    may be prescribed:

 

 

 

“Provided that if the prescribed authority is satisfied that the majority of
members including the Sarpanch of the Grama Panchayat have been duly
returned, he shall publish the names of such members, without awaiting for
the result of election whether conducted or not of the remaining member”.

  1. In the case of a vacancy in the office of a Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch
    or any other member of a Grama Panchayat occurring otherwise than by
    afflux of time or dissolution or supersession of the Grama Panchayat the
    Sarpanch or the Naib-Sarpanch as the case may be, shall forthwith report
    the fact to the Subdivisional Officer who shall intimate such vacancy to the
    Election Commission without any delay and shall conduct an election on
    such date as the Election Commission may direct to fill up the vacancy in
    accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder:

Provided that if such a vacancy occurs during the last six months of the
terms of office of the Grama Panchayat, it shall not be necessary to hold any
election to fill up such vacancy, in which case, the vacancy shall be left
unfilled until the next General Election of the Grama Panchayat.

 

CHAPTER IV

OFFICE OF THE MEMBERS, SARPANCH AND NAIB-SARPANCH

 

  1. (1) Any person elected as a Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch or any
    other member of a Grama Panchayat shall be deemed to have entered
    office as such Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch or such other member, as the
    case may be, on the date of the first meeting of the Grama Panchayat as
    referred to in sub-section (1) of Section 14 which shall be held within a period
    not exceeding thirty days from the date of first publication of names of
    members under Section 15 and the term of all such persons shall expire
    with the term of the Grama Panchayat.

Provided that a Grama Panchayat constituted on the dissolution or
supersession of a Grama Panchayat before the expiration of its term shall
continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved or, as
the case may be, superseded Grama Panchayat would have continued under
this sub-section had it not been so dissolved or, as the case may be,
superseded.

  1. (1) A member or a Naib-Sarpanch of a Grama Panchayat may resign
    his office as such member or Naib-Sarpanch by giving notice in writing to
    the Sarpanch.
  1. (1) Where at a meeting of the Grama Panchayat specially convened
    by the Subdivisional Officer in that behalf a resolution is passed, supported
    by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the Grama
    Panchayat, recording want of confidence in the Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch
    the resolution shall forthwith be forwarded by the Subdivisional Officer to the
    Collector, who shall immediately on receipt of the resolution publish the same
    on his noticeboard and with effect from the date of such publication the
    member holding the office of Sarpanch or the Naib-Sarpanch, as the case
    may be, shall be deemed to have vacated such office.

 

 

(2) In convening a meeting under sub-section (1) and in the conduct
of business at such meeting the procedure shall be in accordance with such
rules, if any, as may be prescribed, subject however to the following
provisions, namely:-

information and such action as may be necessary.

Provided that all requisitions received under sub-section (2) prior to the
date of commencement of the Orissa Grama Panchayats (Second
Amendment) Act, 1993, in which no meeting for recording want of confidence
has been held by the said date, shall stand abated.

Explanation-The expression “total membership of the Grama Panchayat”
shall refer to the total number of mebers specified in sub-section (1) of
Section 10 together with the number of members, if any, actually holding
office at the relevant date in pursuance of a sub-section (3) of the said section.

 

 

 

  1. (1) A person shall be disqualified for being elected or nominated as
    a Sarpanch or any other member of the Grama Panchayat constituted under
    this Act, if he-

Provided that in respect of such arrears a bill or a notice has been duly served upon him and the time, if any, specified therein has expired; or

 

 

Provided that the disqualification under clause (v) shall not apply to any person who has more than two children of the date of commencement of the Orissa Grama Panchayats (Amendment) Act, 1994 or, as the case may be, within a period of one year of such commencement unless he begets an additional child after the said period of one year; and

 

  1. (1) Whenever it is alleged that any Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch or any other member is or has become disqualified or whenever any such person is himself in doubt whether or not he is or has become so disqualified such person or any other member may, and the Sarpanch at the request of the Grama Panchayat, shall apply to the Collector for a decision on the allegation or doubt.

CHAPTER V

CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS AND ELECTION DISPUTES

 

  1. (1) Subject to the provisions in Section 9, the election of a member,
    Sarpanch and Naib-Sarpanch of a Grama Panchayat shall be held and
    conducted in the prescribed manner.
  1. No person who is in the service of the State Government or of any
    local authority shall, by canvassing on behalf of any candidate or otherwise,
    interfere or in any way use his influence in an election and a breach of the
    provisions of this section shall render the person liable to have his services
  2. (1) A person shall be guilty of an election offence if he-
  1. No election of a person as a member of a Grama Panchayat or as a
    Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch held under this Act shall be called in question
    except by an election petition presented in accordance with the provisions
    of this Chapter.
  2. (1) The petition shall be presented on one or more of the grounds
    specified in Section 30 before the Civil Judge (Junior Division) having
    jurisdiction over the place at which the office of the Grama Sasan is situated
    together with a deposit of such amount, if any, as may be prescribed in that
    behalf as security for costs within fifteen days after the date on which the
    name of the person elected is published under Section 15 :

Provided that if the office of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) is closed
on the last day of the period of limitation as aforesaid, the petition may be
presented on the next day on which such office is open :

Provided further that if the petitioner satisfies the Civil Judge (Junior
Division) that sufficient cause existed for the failure to present the petition
within the period aforesaid the Civil Judge (Junior Division) may in his
discretion condone such failure.

  1. (1) The petition may be presented by any person who has filed his

(2) A person whose election is questioned and where the petition is
to the effect that any other candidate is to declared elected in place of such
person, every unsuccessful candidate who has polled more votes than such
candidate shall be made opposite party to the petition.

  1. (1) An election petition—

(2) Any schedule or annexure to the petition shall also be signed by
the petitioner and verified in the same manner as the petition.

  1. A petitioner, may, in addition to claiming a declaration that the election
    of all or any of the returned candidates is void claim a further declaration
    that he himself or any other candidate has been duly elected.
  2. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the Rules made
    thereunder every election petition shall be tried by the Civil Judge (Junior
    Division) as nearly as may be, in accordance with the procedure applicable
    under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to the trial of suits.

 

 

 

35-A. Where on costs have been awarded, the whole of the security deposit, and in cases where any costs have been awarded, the balance, if any, of the security deposit after payment to any person towards costs may, on an application made in that behalf in writing to the Civil Judge (Junior Division) by the person by whom the deposits have been made or, if such person dies after making such deposit by the legal representative of such person, be returned to the applicant.

  1. Any appearance, application or act before the Civil Judge (Junior Division) may be made or done by the party in person or by a legal practitioner duly appointed to act on his behalf :

Provided that it shall be open to the Civil Judge (Junior Division) to direct any party to appear in person, whenever he considers it necessary.

  1. The Civil Judge (Junior Division) shall have the powers which are vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 when trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely :-
  1. (1) If the Civil Judge (Junior Division) after making such enquiry, as
    he deems necessary, finds in respect of any person, whose election is called
    in question by a petition that his election was valid, he shall dismiss the
    petition as against such person and may award costs at his discretion.

Whichever course appears, in the circumstances of the case to be more
appropriate and in either case, may award costs at his discretion.

Provided that the Civil Judge (Junior Division) may, on application
presented within one month from the date of any of the orders made under
this section by any person aggrieved, review such order on any ground and
may, pending the decision in review, direct stay of operation of such order :

Provided further that no application for review under the proceeding
proviso shall lie, if an appeal is preferred in accordance with the provision of
sub-section (4).

  1. (1) The Civil Judge (Junior Division) shall declare the election of a
    returned candidate void, if he is of the opinion-

Provided that in relation to matters covered by clause (a) the Civil Judge
(Junior Division) shall have due regard to the decision, if any, made under
Section 26 before making a declaration under this section.

  1. If any person who has lodged a petition, as in addtion to calling in
    question the election of the returned candidate claimed a declaration that he
    himself or any other candidate has been duly elected and the Civil Judge
    (Junior Division) is of opinion—
  1. The following shall be deemed to be corrupt practices for the
    purposes of this Chapter, namely :—

Explanation—For the purpose of this clause, the term gratification
includes all forms of entertainment and all forms of employment for rewards
but does not include the payment of any expenses incurred bona fide for the
purpose of such election.

 

                    Provided that—

Explanation—In this clause, the expression “vehicle” means any vehicle used or capable of being used for the purpose of road trasport whether propelled by mechanical power or otherwise and whether used for drawing other vehicles or otherwise.

CHAPTER XI
CONTROL

  1. (1) If the State Government, on the basis of a report of the Colloctor
    or the Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, or suo motu are
    of the opinion that circumstances exist to show that the Sarpanch or Naib-
    Sarpanch of a Grama Panchayat wilfully omits or refuses to carry out or
    violates the provisions of this Act or the rules or orders made thereunder or
    abuses the powers, rights and privileges vested in him or acts in a manner
    prejudicial to the interest of the inhabitants of the Grama and that the further
    continuance of such person in office would be detrimental to the interest of
    the Grama Panchayat or the inhabitants of the Grama, they may, after giving
    the person concerned a reasonable opportunity of showing cause, remove
    him from the office of Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch, as the case may be.
  1. (1) If in the opinion of the State Government a Grama Panchayat is
    not competent to perform or persistently makes default in performing the
    duties imposed on it by law or exceeds or abuses its powers they may, by
    notification published in the prescribed manner, direct that the Grama
    Panchayat be dissolved.

                  (2)Before publishing a notification under sub-section (1) the State Government shall communicate to the Grama Panchayat the grounds on which to propose to take action, fix a reasonable period for the Grama Panchayat to show cause against the proposal and consider the explanations and objections, if any, of such Grama Panchayat.

                 (3)Upon the publication of such notification all the members of the Grama Panchayat including its Sarpanch and Naib-Sarpanch shall forthwith be deemed to have vacated their offices as such and fresh elections shall be held in the prescribed manner.

                 (4)During any interval between the dissolution and the reconstitution of the Grama Panchayat under this section all or any of the powers and duties of the Grama Panchayat and its Sarpanch may be exercised and discharged in such manner and to such extent as the State Government may determine by the Chairman of the Samiti.

 

 

  1. If after the fresh election held under the last preceding section
    the Grama Panchayat continues to be incompetent to perform or abuse its
    powers, the State Government for all or any of the reasons specified in sub-
    section of Section 116 may, by notification published in the prescribed manner,
    supersede it for a specified period and may, in like manner by stating reasons
    therefore, extend such period from time to time so, however, that the total
    period of supersession does not exceed six months.

(2) Before publishing a notification under sub-section (1) the State Government shall follow the procedure laid down in sub-section (2) of Section 116.

  1. If at anytime it appears to the Collector that a Grama Panchayat
    or its Sarpanch has made default in performing any duty imposed by or
    under this Act, or any other law for the time being in force, he may, in
    consultation with the Samiti, by order in writing fix a period for the performance
    of such duty.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII

ESTABLISHMENT AND CONDUCT OF BUSINESS

  1. (1) There shall be an Executive Officer for every Grama Sasan
    who shall—

 

Explanation-For the purpose of sub-section (2) -

(3)Subject to the general superintendence and overall control of the Grama Panchayat, the Executive Officer shall function under the control and supervision of the Director, Collector and the District Panchayat Officer.

 

        123  Subject to such general or special order as may be made in this behalf by the State Government, a Grama Panchayat may appoint a Secretary
and such other employees for the Grama Sasan as may be necessary for
enabling the Grama Panchayat to perform its functions, who shall discharge
such duties and perform such functions as may be prescribed.

Vacancy not proceedings.

 

 

  1. No act proceedings of the Grama Sasan or Palli Sabha or of the Grama Panchayat or any of the Committees shall be deemed to be invalid by reason merely of the existence of any defect in the constitution of the Grama Sasan or Palli Sabha or of the existence of any vacancy in or defect in the constitution of the Grama Panchayat or any Committee, thereof, or any vacancy in the office of the Sarpanch or Naib-Sarpanch, or by reason of any defect, error, ommission or irregularity in the election or nomination of the Sarpanch, Naib-Sarpanch or any other member of such Grama Panchayat.

 

CHAPTER XIV
MISCELLANEOUS

  1. All members of a Grama Panchayat or of any Committee thereof constituted under this Act and all Officers and other employees of a Grama Panchayat, every contractor or agent appointed by it for collection of any tax, toll, rates or fees and every person employed by such contractor or agent, shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and in the definition of “legal remuneration” in Section 161 of the said Code the word “Government” shall for the purpose of this section, be deemed to include a Grama Sasan and a Grama Panchayat.

 

  1. (1) Where a new Grama is constituted by the inclusion in one
    Grama or a part of another Grama-

 

Provided that the persons holding office as Sarpanch of the Grama Panchayats so amalgamated shall cease to hold such office and the Sarpanch of the new Grama shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of Section 10.

  1. (1) (a) Whenever the State Government decide upon a general re-organisation of the Gramas within the State, they may for the said purpose, by order, direct all steps to be taken in accordance with this Act and the rules made thereunder in the matter of redelimitation of Gramas, division thereof into wards and for the constitution of Grama Panchayats for such Gramas.

(b) The redelimitation, division and constitution made in pursuance of an order under clause (a) shall not affect the constitution of the existing Grama and Grama Panchayats but shall have effect only on the date following the date of expiry of the term, or as the case may be, extended term of office of the existing Grama Panchayats and the new Grama Panchayat shall enter office on the date earlier mentioned.

  1. (1) The State Government may, after previous publication, make rules not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act to carry out all or any of the purposes thereof and prescribe forms for any matter for which they consider that a form should be provided.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers such rules may provide for-

  1. (1) Subject to such rules as may be made the Grama Panchayat
    may with the aproval of the State Government make bye-laws for carrying
    out any of the purposes for which it is constituted.

(2) The State Government shall have power to make rules regarding the procedure for making of bye-laws, the publication thereof and the date on which they shall come into effect.

  1. (1) The State Government may, from time to time with a view to
    ensure the proper functioning of the Grama Sasans, Palli Sabhas and Grama
    Panchayats and the proper implementation of the provisions of this Act and
    the rules made thereunder, issue such administrative orders, directions and
    instructions as they deem fit not inconsistent with the aforesaid provisions
    for the guidance of the aforesaid bodies.