Panchayat in Bengal

The West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973
West Bengal Act 41 of 1973
________________________________________
[17th January, 1974.]

Assent of the President was first published in the Calcutta Gazette, Extraordinary, dated the 17th January, 1974.
An Act to reorganise Panchayats in rural areas of West Bengal and to provide for matters connected therewith.
Whereas it is expedient to reorganise Panchayats in rural areas of West Bengal and to provide for matters connected therewith;
It is hereby enacted follows:-

Part I

CHAPTER I
Preliminary

1. Short title, extent and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973.
[(2) It extends to the whole of West Bengal, except the areas to which the provisions of –
(a) the Cantonments Act, 1924,
(b) the Howrah Municipal Corporation Act, 1980,
(c) the Calcutta Municipal Corporation Act, 1980,
(d) the Siliguri Municipal Corporation Act, 1990,
(e) the Asansol Municipal Corporation Act, 1990,
(f) the Chandernagore Municipal Corporation Act, 1990,
(g) the West Bengal Municipal Act, 1993,
(h) the Durgapur Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, or
any parts or modifications thereof apply or may hereafter be applied.]
(3) This section shall come into force at once; the remaining sections shall come into force on such date or dates and in such area or areas as the State Government may, by notification, appoint and different dates may be appointed for different sections and for different areas.

2. Definitions. – In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, –
(1) “auditor” means an auditor appointed under section 186 and includes any officer authorised by him to perform all or any of the functions of an auditor under Chapter XVIII;
(2) “Block” means an area referred to in section 93;
(3) “Block Development Officer” means an officer appointed as such by the State Government [and includes the Joint Block Development Officer in charge of the Block];
(4) “case” means a criminal proceeding in respect of an offence triable by a Nayaya Panchayat;
[(4a) “Collector” means an officer appointed as such by the State Government;]
[(4b) “Council” means the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council constituted under the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Act, 1988;]
(5) “District Magistrate” includes an Additional District Magistrate, a Deputy Commissioner, an Additional Deputy Commissioner and any other Magistrate appointed by the State Government to discharge all or any of the functions of a District Magistrate under this Act;
[(6) “Director of Panchayats” means the Director of Panchayats and Rural Development, Government of West Bengal, and includes a Joint Director of Panchayats and Rural Development, a Deputy Director of Panchayats and Rural Development and an Assistant Director of Panchayats and Rural Development;]
[(7) “District Panchayat Officer” means a District Panchayat and Rural Development Officer appointed as such by the State Government;]
(8) “District Planning Committee” means the District Planning Committee established by the State Government for a district;
(9) “Extension Officer, Panchayats” means an officer appointed as such by the State Government;
[(9a) “general election” means an election of members held simultaneously for constitution of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis, Mahakuma Parishad, or Zilla Parishads or any two or more of Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis, Mahakuma Parishad, or Zilla Parishads in such area as the State Government may by notification specify;]
[(10) “Gram” means an area referred to in section 3;]
(11) “Gram Panchayat” means a Gram Panchayat constituted under section 4;
[(11a) “Gram Sabha” means a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls pertaining to a Gram declared as such under sub-section (1) of section 3;]
[(11b) “Gram Sansad” means a body consisting of persons registered at any time in the electoral rolls pertaining to a constituency of a Gram Panchayat delimited for the purpose of last preceding general election to the Gram Panchayat];
[(11c) “hill areas” has the same meaning as in the Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Act, 1988;]
(12) “Karmadhyaksha” means the Karmadhyaksha of a Sthayee Samiti of a Panchayat Samiti elected under section 125 or of a Sthayee Samiti of a Zilla Parishad elected under section 172, as the case may be;
[(12a) “Mahakuma Parishad” means the Mahakuma Parishad or the subdivision of Siliguri in the district of Darjeeling constituted under section 185B;]
[(13) “mauza” means an area defined, surveyed and recorded as such in the revenue record of a district and referred to in clause (g) of article 243 of the Constitution of India as the lowest unit of area for the purpose of public notification for specifying a village;]
[(13a) “Municipality” means an institution of self-government constituted under article 243Q of the Constitution of India;]
(14) “notification” means a notification published in the Official Gazette;
(15) “Nyaya Panchayat” means a Nyaya Panchayat constituted under section 51;
[(15a) “office bearer” means the Pradhan, Upa-Pradhan, Sabhapati, Sahakari Sabhapati, Sabhadhipati or Sahakari Sabhadhipati or any two or more of them together;]
[(15b) “Panchayat” means an institution of [self-government constituted under article 243B of the Constitution of India], and includes Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti, Mahakuma Parishad or Zilla Parishad;
(16) “Panchayat Samiti” means a Panchayat Samiti constituted under section 94;
[(16a) “population” means the population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published;]
(17) “Pradhan” means a Pradhan of a Gram Panchayat elected under section 9;
(18) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(19) “prescribed authority” means an authority appointed by the State Government by notification, for all or any of the purposes of this Act;
(20) “public street” means any street, road, lane, gully, alley, passage, pathway, bridge, square or court, whether a thoroughfare or not, over which the public have a right of way, and includes side drains or gutters and the land up to the boundary of any abutting property, notwithstanding the projection over such land or any verandah or other superstructure;
[(20A) “recognised political party” means a national party or a State party recognised as such by the Election Commission of India by notification for the time being in force;]
(21) “Sabhapati” means a Sabhapati of a Panchayat Samiti, elected under section 98;
(22) “Sabhadhipati” means a Sabhadhipati of a Zilla Parishad, [elected under section 143, and includes the Sabhadhipati of the Mahakuma Parishad;]
(23) “Sahakari Sabhapati” means a Sahakari Sabhapati of a Panchayat Samiti, elected under section 98;
(24) “Sahakari Sabhadhipati” means a Sahakari Sabhadhipati of a Zilla Parishad, [elected under section 143, and includes the Sahakari Sabhadhipati of the Mahakuma Parishad;]
(25) “Scheduled Castes” means such castes, races or tribes or parts of, or groups within, such castes, races or tribes as are deemed to be Scheduled Castes in relation to the State of West Bengal under article 341 of the Constitution of India;
(26) “Scheduled Tribes” means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of, or groups within, such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to the State of West Bengal under article 342 of the Constitution of India;
[(26A) “State Election Commissioner” means the State Election Commissioner referred to in sub-section (1) of section 3 of the West Bengal State Election Commission Act, 1994;]
[(26B) “State Government” means the State Government in the Department of Panchayats and Rural Development;]
(27) “State Planning Board” means the West Bengal State Planning Board established by the State Government;
[(27A) “Sub-divisional Officer” means an officer appointed as such by the State Government, and includes an Additional Sub-divisional Officer having jurisdiction;]
(28) “suit” means a civil suit triable by a Nyaya Panchayat;
(29) “Upa-Pradhan” means an Upa-Pradhan of a Gram Panchayat, elected under section 9;
(30) “year” means the year beginning on the first day of April;
(31) “Zilla Parishad” means a Zilla Parishad of a district constituted under section 140.