Hyderabad: The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) on Thursday justified issuing notification for holding by-elections to fill vacancies in Panchayat Raj bodies.
“The Constitution of India makes it mandatory to hold elections to local bodies for every five years by the State Election Commission. Further Constitution also mandates prompt elections so that there is an elected body in place all the time.
Article 243-K of Constitution of India, read with section 201 of Telangana Panchayat Raj Act, 1994, entrusted the responsibility to conduct elections to local bodies with the State Election Commission.
Gram Panchayats are local self Governments at village level and they function to provide important services such as drinking water, sanitation, street lights, internal roads, cleaning of roads and drainages, building permissions etc.,.
Hence, the Constitution and Panchayat Raj Act mandates timely elections for all vacancies in PR Bodies. Provisions of the Panchayat Raj Act, specifically stipulates that, elections to casual vacancies in Gram Panchayats should be conducted within 120 days from the date of occurrence of vacancies,” the TSEC Secretary said in a statement.
However, the TSEC said that the Panchayat Raj Act makes an exemption to this only in cases when the balance duration is less than six months. The term of the present existing bodies expire by 01.08.2018, i.e., the balance period left over is still more than six months and hence the legal necessity to hold the elections.
“Complying to the mandatory provisions of the Constitution and Panchayat Raj Act, the State Election Commission has been conducting election from time to time to the vacancies in Panchayat Raj Bodies and the notification issued on 17th January 2018, is also part of it,” the TSEC clarified today. (INN)