Powers, functions and duties of Zilla Parishad [West Bengal]

Under West Bengal Panchayat Act

CHAPTER XIV
Powers, functions and duties of Zilla Parishad

153. Powers of Zilla Parishad. – [A Zilla Parishad shall function as a unit of self-government and, in order to achieve economic development and secure social justice for all, shall prepare –
(i) a development plan for the five-year term of the office of the members, and
(ii) an annual plan for each year by the month of January of the preceding year,
in furtherance of its objective of development of the community as a whole and socio-economic upliftment of the individual members of the community and, without prejudice to the generality of the above provisions, shall have power to -]
(a) [(i) undertake schemes or adopt measures, including the giving of financial assistance, relating to the development of agriculture, fisheries, live-stock, khadi, cottage and small-scale industries, co-operative movement, rural credit, water-supply, irrigation and minor irrigation including water management and watershed development, public health and sanitation including establishment and maintenance of dispensaries and hospitals, communication, primary and secondary education, adult and non-formal education, physical education and games and sports, welfare of students, social forestry and farm forestry including fuel and fodder, rural electrification including distribution, non-conventional energy sources, women and child development, social welfare and other objects of general public utility,]
(ii) undertake execution of any scheme, performance of any act, or management of any institution or organisation entrusted to it by the State Government or any other authority,
(iii) manage or maintain any work of public utility or any institution vested in it or under its control and management,
(iv) make grants-in-aid of any school, public library, public institution or public welfare organisation within the district,
(v) contribute such sums as may be agreed upon towards the cost of maintenance of any institutions, situated outside the district, which are beneficial to, and habitually used by, the inhabitants of the district,
(vi) establish scholarships or award stipends within the State for the furtherance of technical or other special forms of education,
(vii) acquire and maintain village hats and markets;
(b) make grants to the Panchayat Samitis or Gram Panchayats;
(c) contribute, with the approval of the State Government, such sum or sums as it may decide, towards the cost of waster-supply or anti-epidemic measures undertaken by the commissioners of a municipality within the district;
(d) adopt measures for the relief of distress;
(e) co-ordinate and integrate the development plans and schemes prepared by Panchayat Samitis in the district; and
[* * * * * *]
(2) A Zilla Parishad shall have the power to advise the State Government on all matters relating to the development work among Gram Panchayatsand Panchayat Samitis.
(3) Notwithstanding anything in sub-section (1), a Zilla Parishad shall not undertake or execute any scheme confined to a block unless the implementation of such a scheme is beyond the competence of the Panchayat Samiti concerned financially or otherwise. In the latter case the Zilla Parishad may execute the scheme itself or entrust its execution to the Panchayat Samiti and give it such assistance as may be required:
[Provided that a Zilla Parishad may undertake or execute any scheme referred to in sub-clause (ii) of clause (a) of sub-section (1) confined to an area over which a Panchayat Samiti has jurisdiction].
(4) A Zilla Parishad may undertake or execute any scheme if it extends to more than one Block.
154. Zilla Parishad to have powers of Magistrate in district to which the Vaccination Act extends. – In a district to which the Bengal Vaccination Act, 1880, has been, or may hereafter be extended, the Zilla Parishad shall exercise all or any of the powers exercisable by the Magistrate of the district under section 25 of the said Act.
155. State Government may place other property under Zilla Parishad. – The State Government may from time to time, with the consent of theZilla Parishad, place any road, bridge, ferry, channel, building or other property vested in the State Government and situated within the district under the control and management of the Zilla Parishad subject to such conditions as it may specify:
[Provided that the Government may, after considering the views of the Zilla Parishad, withdraw such control and management to itself subject to such conditions as it may specify].
156. Control and maintenance of roads which run through a municipality. – The State Government may, notwithstanding anything contained in the Bengal Municipal Act, 1932, direct, after consultation with the commissioners of a municipality, that the control and maintenance of any road part of which runs through a municipality and is vested in the commissioners of such municipality shall be taken over by the Zilla Parishad and that the commissioners of such municipality shall make such contribution for the maintenance of the road as may be agreed upon or as may be fixed by the State Government in the absence of agreement. On such direction being given the commissioners of the municipality shall cease to control and maintain such portion of the road as lies within such municipality.
157. Zilla Parishad may take over works. – A Zilla Parishad may take over the maintenance and control of any road, bridge, tank, ghat, well, channel or drain, belonging to a private owner or any other authority on such terms as may be agreed upon.
158. Power of Zilla Parishad to divert, discontinue or close road. – A Zilla Parishad may divert, discontinue or close temporarily any road, which is under its control and management or is vested in it, and may, with the approval of the State Government, close any such road permanently.
159. Power of Zilla Parishad to transfer roads to the State Government or Panchayat Samiti. – A Zilla Parishad may transfer to the State Government, the commissioners of a municipality, a Panchayat Samiti or a Gram Panchayat any road or part of a road or any other property which is under its control or management or which is vested in it, on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon.
160. Vesting of Zilla Parishad with certain powers. – (1) A Zilla Parishad may be vested by the State Government with such powers under any local or special Act as the State Government may think fit.
(2) A Zilla Parishad shall perform such functions as may be transferred to it by notification under section 31 of the Cattle-trespass Act, 1871.
(3) A Zilla Parishad shall exercise such other powers, perform such other functions or discharge such other duties as the State Government may, by general or special order, direct.
161. Joint execution of schemes by two or more Zilla Parishads. – The Zilla Parishads of two or more adjacent districts may jointly undertake and execute at common cost any development scheme or project or may jointly establish a common ferry on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon, and in case of any difference as to the interpretation of such terms and conditions the matter shall be referred to the State Government whose decision shall be final.
162. Power of Zilla Parishad to grant licence for fair or mela. – A Zilla Parishad may require the owner or the lessee of a fair or mela or an owner or a lessee of land intending to hold a fair or mela thereon to obtain a licence in this behalf from the Zilla Parishad on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed and on payment of a fee for such licence.
163. Power of supervision by Zilla Parishad over the Panchayat Samitis. – [(1) A Zilla Parishad shall exercise general powers of supervision over Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats in the district and it shall be the duty of these authorities to give effect to any directions of the Zilla Parishad] [* * * * *].
[(2) A Zilla Parishad may –
(a) inspect, or cause to be inspected, any immovable property used or occupied by a Panchayat Samiti under it or any work in progress under the direction of the Panchayat Samiti,
(b) inspect or examine, or depute an officer to inspect or examine, any department of the Panchayat Samiti, or any service, work or thing under the control of the Panchayat Samiti,
(c) inspect or cause to be inspected utilisation of funds in respect of schemes or programmes assigned to the Panchayat Samiti by the State Government for execution either directly or through the Zilla Parishad,
(d) require a Panchayat Samiti, for the purpose of inspection or examination, –
(i) to produce any book, record, correspondence or other documents, or
(ii) to furnish any return, plan, estimate, statement, accounts or statistics, or
(iii) to furnish or obtain any report or information.]
[(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this section or elsewhere in this Act, a Zilla Parishad may –
(a) require a Panchayat Samiti or Gram Panchayat to take into consideration any objection which appears to it to exist to the doing of anything which is about to be done or is being done by such Panchayat Samiti or Gram Panchayat or any information which appears to it to necessitate the doing of anything by such Panchayat Samiti or Gram Panchayat within such period as it may fix;
(b) direct a Panchayat Samiti or Gram Panchayat to discharge any duty under this Act within a specified period if such Panchayat Samiti orGram Panchayat fails to discharge such duty in accordance with the provisions of this Act and, if such duty is not discharged within the period as aforesaid, appoint any person or persons or authority to discharge such duty and direct that the expenses thereof shall be paid by the Panchayat Samiti or the Gram Panchayat concerned within such period as it may fix:
Provided that such person or persons or authority shall, for the purpose of discharging the duty as aforesaid, exercise such of the powers under this Act as might have been exercised by the Panchayat Samiti or the Gram Panchayat concerned while discharging such duty;
(c) direct a Panchayat Samiti or Gram Panchayat to levy any tax, toll, fee or rate, if it fails to do so in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
(d) call for meetings of a Panchayat Samiti or any of its Sthayee Samitis or a Gram Panchayat if no meeting of such Panchayat Samiti orSthayee Samiti or Gram Panchayat is held in accordance with the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder.]
[(4) When a Zilla Parishad takes any action or issues any direction in respect of any Gram Panchayat, such action may be taken and such direction may be issued though and with the assistance of the Panchayat Samiti having jurisdiction.]
[(5) A Panchayat Samiti or Gram Panchayat, as the case may be, may appeal to the State Government against any direction under clause (b) of sub-section (3) within thirty days from the date of such direction, and the decision of the State Government on such appeal shall be final.]
[163A. Zilla Sansad and its constitution. – (1) Every Zilla Parishad shall have a Zilla Sansad consisting of the following members:-
(a) Pradhans of all Gram Panchayats,
(b) Sabhapatis, Sahakari Sabhapatis and Karmadhyakshas of all Panchayat Samitis comprising the Zilla Parishad,
(c) and all members of that Zilla Parishad.
(2) A Zilla Parishad shall hold an annual and a half-yearly meeting of such Sansad at such time and place in such manner, as may be prescribed.
(3) One-tenth of the total number of members shall form a quorum for a meeting of a Zilla Sansad:
Provided that if no quorum is available for such meeting, the meeting shall be adjourned to be held at the same time and place on the seventh day from the date of such meeting in the manner as may be prescribed.
(4) A meeting of the Zilla Sansad shall be presided over by the Sabhadhipati and in his absence by the Sahakari Sabhadhipati of the Zilla Parishad.
(5) The Zilla Sansad shall guide and advise the Zilla Parishad for all matters relating to development including preparation of annual plan and budget, implementation of development programmes,, schemes or projects and undertaking such activities for economic development and for ensuring social justice as are undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by Zilla Parishad:
Provided that for such guidance and advice, any member of the Zilla Sansad on receipt of the notice for any such meeting, may demand in writing to the Executive Officer for placement of any document such as last report on inspection of accounts of the funds of the Zilla Parishad by the Audit team, budget, Annual Action Plan and on receipt of such demand the Executive Officer with the consent of the Sabhapati, shall place such documents in the meeting for deliberation:
Provided further that the deliberation, recommendations and observations passed in the meeting of the Zilla Sansad, shall be considered in the meeting of Zilla Parishad as soon as possible within one month from the date of meeting of the Zilla Sansad and the decision of the Zilla Parishadalong with the action-taken report shall be placed in the next meeting of the Zilla Sansad.]
164. Exemption of Sabhadhipati and members of Zilla Parishad from attending registration office. – Notwithstanding anything contained in the Registration Act, 1908, or any rules made thereunder, the registering officer shall, on the requisition of the Sabhadhipati made in writing and under the common seal of the Zilla Parishad, register a document executed by the Sabhadhipati or a member of the Zilla Parishad on behalf of theZilla Parishad without requiring the presence of the Sabhadhipati or the member concerned at the registration office.
165. Powers, functions and duties of Sabhadhipati and Sahakari Sabhadhipati. – (1) The Sabhadhipati shall –
(a) be responsible for the maintenance of the records of the Zilla Parishad;
(b) have general responsibility for the financial and executive administration of the Zilla Parishad;
(c) exercise administrative supervision and control over all officers and other employees of the Zilla Parishad and the officers and employees whose services may be placed at the disposal of the Zilla Parishad by the State Government;
(d) for the transaction of business connected with this Act or for the purpose of making any order authorised thereby, exercise such powers, perform such functions and discharge such duties as may be exercised, performed or discharged by the Zilla Parishad under this Act or the rules made thereunder:
Provided that the Sabhadhipati shall not exercise such powers, perform such functions or discharge such duties as may be required by the rules made under this Act to be exercised, performed or discharged by the Zilla Parishad at a meeting;
(e) exercise such other powers, perform such other functions and discharge such other duties as the Zilla Parishad may, by general or special resolution, direct or as the State Government may, by rules made in this behalf, prescribe.
[Explanation. – For the purpose of discharge of responsibilities and exercise of administrative supervision and control, the Sabhadhipati shall rely on the Executive Officer referred to in section 166 and shall generally act through him.]
(2) The Sahakari Sabhadhipati shall –
(a) exercise such of the powers, perform such of the functions and discharge such of the duties of the Sabhadhipati as the Sabhadhipati may from time to time, subject to rules made in this behalf by the State Government, delegate to him by order in writing:
Provided that the Sabhadhipati may at any time withdraw the powers and functions delegated to the Sahakari Sabhadhipati;
(b) during the absence of the Sabhadhipati, exercise all the powers, perform all the functions and discharge all the duties of the Sabhadhipati.
[(c) exercise such other powers, perform such other functions and discharge such other duties as the Zilla Parishad may, by general or special resolution, direct or as the State Government may, by rules made in this behalf, prescribe.]