Part IX of the Constitution craves a three-fold system of Panchayats namely (a) The village level; (b) The District Panchayats; (c) The intermediate Panchayats which stands between the village and district in the states where the population is above 20lakhs.

Composition:- All the seats in a panchayat shall be filled by a person chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area. The electorate has been named ‘gram sabha’ consisting of a person registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of a Panchayat.

Duration of Panchayat:- Every Panchayat shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting. But it can be dissolved earlier by the procedure prescribed by the State law. In case it is dissolved earlier, then the elections must be held within 6months of its dissolution.

Qualifications for Membership:- Article 243 F provides that all persons who are qualified to be chosen to the State Legislature shall be qualified to be chosen as a member of a Panchayat. The only difference is that a person who has attained the age of 21 years will be eligible to be a member.

Powers authority and responsibilities of Panchayats:- State Legislatures have the legislative powers to confer on the Panchayats such as powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government [Article 243G- 243H]. They are being authorized with the responsibility of (a) preparation of economic development and social justice plans and implementation of schemes for the same, (b) regarding matters listed in the 11th Schedule. The list contains 29 issues including land improvement, minor irrigation, animal husbandry, fisheries, education, women and child development, etc. The 11th Schedule distributes powers between the State Legislature and the Panchayat.

Powers to impose taxes and Financial resources:- Any State by law may authorize a Panchayat to impose, collect, and appropriate taxes, duties tolls, etc. The law may enact the procedure to be fulfilled as well as the limits of these exactions. It can also appoint to a panchayat various taxes and duties etc. collected by the State Government.

Panchayat Finance Commission:- The date on which the Constitution’s 73rd Amendment came into force and afterward every five years the State Government shall appoint a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations to —

(a) the distribution between the State and the Panchayat of the net proceeds of taxes, duties, tolls, and fees leviable by the State which may be divided between them and how the allocation would be made among various levels of Panchayats.

(b) what taxes, duties, tolls, and fees may be assigned to the Panchayats.

(c) grant-in-aid to the Panchayats.

The report of the Commission, together with a memorandum of action taken on it, shall be laid down before the State Legislature. These provisions are modeled on Article 280 which contains provisions regarding appointment of a Finance Commission for the distribution of finances between the Union and the States.

Bar to interference by Courts in Electoral matters:- As under Article 329, Courts shall have no jurisdiction to examine the validity of a law, relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotments of seats, made under Article 243K.

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