Chandigarh(March 11, 2008) Col. C.D. Singh Kamboj Member All India Congress Committee and S. Balwinder Singh Sarpanch of Village Gehlran Tehsil Shahkot District Jalandhar have, in their joint petition, challenged the constitutional validity of Section 10 of the Punjab Panchayati Raj Act 1994 under which election of panches in a village is conducted by declaring panchayat area as a multimember single constituency. They have alleged that article 243C(2) of the Constitution of India mandatorily requires that a panchayat area should be sub-divided into different territorial constituencies to the extent of total number of panches to be elected in that Panchayat area.
The petitioners have sought writ of mandamus that the elections of the panchayat in the state should only be held after amending section 10 of the Act and bringing the same in consonance with the mandate of the Article 243C(2) of the Constitution of India. They have further stated that otherwise the election of panches and Sarpanches scheduled to be held in April,2008 under the existing law would be void and unconstitutional.
The petitioners have further prayed for the quashing of the ordinance issued by the State of Punjab empowering it to hold indirect election to the post of Sarpanches from amongst the Panches of the Panchayat as such a decision of the Government is politically motivated, undemocratic and against the spirit of constitution of India.
The Hon’ble Division Bench consisting of Hon’ble Chief Justice, V.K. Jain and Honble Mr. Justice K.S. Ahluwalia issued notice of motion to the State of Punjab and the Punjab State Election Commission for 24th March,2008.