THE CONSTITUTION (SEVENTY-THIRD AMENDMENT) ACT, 1992
Statement of Objects and Reasons appended to the Constitution
(Seventy-second Amendment) Bill, 1991 which was enacted as
the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
Though the Panchayati Raj Institutions have been in existence for a
long time, it has been observed that these institutions have not been
able to acquire the status and dignity of viable and responsive
people's bodies due to a number of reasons including absence of
regular elections, prolonged supersessions, insufficient
representation of weaker sections like Scheduled Castes, Scheduled
Tribes and women, inadequate devolution of powers and lack of
2. Article 40 of the Constitution which enshrines one of the
Directive Principles of State Policy lays down that the State shall
take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such
powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as
units of self-government. In the light of the experience in the last
forty years and in view of the short-comings which have been observed,
it is considered that there is an imperative need to enshrine in the
Constitution certain basic and essential features of Panchayati Raj
Institutions to impart certainty, continuity and strength to them.
3. Accordingly, it is proposed to add a new Part relating to
Panchayats in the Constitution to provide for among other things, Gram
Sabha in a village or group of villages; constitution of Panchayats
at village and other level or levels; direct elections to all seats
in Panchayats at the village and intermediate level, if any, and to
the offices of Chairpersons of Panchayats at such levels; reservation
of seats for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion
to their population for membership of Panchayats and office of
Chairpersons in Panchayats at each level; reservation of not less
than one-third of the seats for women; fixing tenure of 5 years for
Panchayats and holding elections within a period of 6 months in the
event of supersession of any Panchayat; disqualifications for
membership of Panchayats; devolution by the State Legislature of
powers and responsibilities upon the Panchayats with respect to the
preparation of plans for economic developments and social justice and
for the implementation of development schemes; sound finance of the
Panchayats by securing authorisation from State Legislatures for
grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the
State, as also assignment to, or appropriation by, the Panchayats of
the revenues of designated taxes, duties, tolls and fees; setting up
of a Finance Commission within one year of the proposed amendment and
thereafter every 5 years to review the financial position of
Panchayats; auditing of accounts of the Panchayats; powers of State
Legislatures to make provisions with respect to elections to
Panchayats under the superintendence, direction and control of the
chief electoral officer of the State; application of the provisions
of the said Part to Union territories; excluding certain States and
areas from the application of the provisions of the said Part;
continuance of existing laws and Panchayats until one year from the
commencement of the proposed amendment and barring interference by
courts in electoral matters relating to Panchayats.
4. The Bill seeks to achieve the aforesaid objectives.
NEW DELHI; G. VENKAT SWAMY.
The 10th September, 1991.
THE CONSTITUTION (SEVENTY-THIRD AMENDMENT) ACT, 1992
[20th April, 1993.]
An Act further to amend the Constitution of India.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Forty-third Year of the Republic of
India as follows:-
1. Short title and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the
Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992.
(2) It shall come into force on such date_680 as the Central
Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
2. Insertion of new Part IX.- After Part VIII of the Constitution,
the following Part shall be inserted, namely:-
243. Definitions.- In this Part, unless the context otherwise
(a) "district" means a district in a State;
(b) "Gram Sabha" means a body consisting of persons registered in
the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of
Panchayat at the village level;
(c) "Intermediate level" means a level between the village and
district levels specified by the Governor of a State by public
notification to be the intermediate level for the purposes of this
(d) "Panchayat" means an institution (by whatever name called) of
self-government constituted under article 243B, for the rural areas;
(e) "Panchayat area" means the territorial area of a Panchayat;
(f) "population" means the population as ascertained at the last
preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published;
(g) "village" means a village specified by the Governor by public
notification to be a village for the purposes of this Part and
includes a group of villages so specified.
243A. Gram Sabha.- A Gram Sabha may exercise such powers and
perform such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a
State may, by law, provide.
243B. Constitution of Panchayats.- (1) There shall be constituted in
every State, Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district
levels in accordance with the provisions of this Part.
(2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), Panchayats at the in-
termediate level may not be constituted in a State having a population
not exceeding twenty lakhs.
243C. Composition of Panchayats.- (1) Subject to the provisions of
this Part, the Legislature of a State may, by law, make provisions
with respect to the composition of Pancayats:
Provided that the ratio between the population of the territorial area
of a Panchayat at any level and the number of seats in such Panchayat
to be filled by election shall, so far as practicable, be the same
throughout the State.
(2) All the seats in a Panchayat shall be filled by persons chosen by
direct election from territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area
and; for this purpose, each Panchayat area shall be divided into
territorial constituencies in such manner that the ratio between the
population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it
shall, so far as practicable, be the same throughout the Panchayat
(3) The Legislature of a State may, by law, provide for the re-
(a) of the Chairpersons of the Panchayats at the village level, in the
Panchayats at the intermediate level or, in the case of a State not
having Panchayats at the intermediate level, in the Pancayats at the
(b) of the Chairpersons of the Panchayats at the intermediate level,
in the Panchayats at the district level;
(c) of the members of the House of the People and the members of the
Legislative Assembly of the State representing constituencies which
comprise wholly or partly a Panchayat area at a level other than the
village level, in such Panchayat;
(d) of the members of the Council of States and the members of the
Legislative Council of the State, where they are registered as
(i) a Panchayat area at the intermediate level, in Panchayat at the
(ii) a Panchayat area at the district level, in Panchayat at the
(4) The Chairperson of a Panchayat and other members of a Panchayat
whether or not chosen by direct election from territorial
constituencies in the Panchayat area shall have the right to vote in
the meetings of the Panchayats.
(5) The Chairperson of -
(a) a Panchayat at the village level shall be elected in such manner
as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide; and
(b) a Panchayat at the intermediate level or district level shall be
elected by, and from amongst, the elected members thereof.
243D. Reservation of seats.- (1) Seats shall be reserved for-
(a) the Scheduled Castes; and
(b) the Scheduled Tribes,
in every Panchayat and the number of seats of reserved shall bear, as
nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of seats to
be filled by direct election in that Panchayat as the population of
the Scheduled Castes in that Panchayat area or of the Scheduled Tribes
in that Panchayat area bears to the total population of that area and
such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in
(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved
under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the
Scheduled Castes or, as the case may be, the Scheduled Tribes.
(3) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved
for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes)
of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every
Panchayat shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted
by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.
(4) The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village
or any other level shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the
Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of a
State may, by law, provide:
Provided that the number of offices of Chairpersons reserved for the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Panchayats at each
level in any State shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same
proportion to the total number of such offices in the Panchayats at
each level as the population of the Scheduled Castes in the State or
of the Scheduled Tribes in the State bears to the total population of
Provided further that not less than one-third of the total number of
offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be
reserved for women:
Provided also that the number of offices reserved under this clause
shall be allotted by rotation to different Panchayats at each level.
(5) The reservation of seats under clauses (1) and (2) and the
reservation of offices of Chairpersons (other than the reservation for
women) under clause (4) shall cease to have effect on the expiration
of the period specified in article 334.
(6) Nothing in this Part shall prevent the Legislature of a State from
making any provision for reservation of seats in any Panchayat or
offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at any level in favour of
backward class of citizens.
243E. Duration of Panchayats, etc.- (1) Every Panchayat, unless
sooner dissolved under any law for the time being in force, shall
continue for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting
and no longer.
(2) No amendment of any law for the time being in force shall have the
effect of causing dissolution of a Panchayat at any level, which is
functioning immediately before such amendment, till the expiration of
its duration specified in clause (1).
(3) An election to constitute a Panchayat shall be completed-
(a) before the expiry of its duration specified in clause (1);
(b) before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of
Provided that where the remainder of the period for which the
dissolved Panchayat would have continued is less than six months, it
shall not be necessary to hold any election under this clause for
constituting the Panchayat for such period.
(4) A Panchayat constituted upon the dissolution of a Panchayat before
the expiration of its duration shall continue only for the remainder
of the period for which the dissolved Panchayat would have continued
under clause (1) had it not been so dissolved.
243F. Disqualifications for membership.-(1) A person shall be
disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of a
(a) if he is so disqualified by or under any law for the time being in
force for the purposes of elections to the Legislature of the State
Provided that no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is
less than twenty-five years of age, if he has attained the age of
(b) if he is so disqualified by or under any law made by the
Legislature of the State.
(2) If any question arises as to whether a member of a Panchayat has
become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause
(1), the question shall be referred for the decision of such authority
and in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
243G. Powers, authority and responsibilities of Panchayats.- Subject
to the provisions of this Constitution, the Legislature of a State
may, by law, endow the Panchayats with such powers and authority as
may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of
self-government and such law may contain provisions for the devolution
of powers and responsibilities upon Panchayats at the appropriate
level, subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, with
(a) the preparation of plans for economic development and social
(b) the implementation of schemes for economic development and social
justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the
matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule.
243H. Powers to impose taxes by, and Funds of, the Panchayats.-The
Legislature of a State may, by law,-
(a) authorise a Panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes,
duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and subject
to such limits;
(b) assign to a Panchayat such taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied
and collected by the State Government for such purposes and subject to
such conditions and limits;
(c) provide for making such grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the
Consolidated Fund of the State; and
(d) provide for Constitution of such Funds for crediting all moneys
received, respectively, by or on behalf of the Panchayats and also for
the withdrawal of such moneys therefrom,
as may be specified in the law.
243-I. Constitution of Finance Commission to review financial
position.-(1) The Governor of a State shall, as soon as may be within
one year from the commencement of the Constitution (Seventy-third
Amendment) Act, 1992, and thereafter at the expiration of every fifth
year, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position
of the Panchayats and to make recommendations to the Governor as to-
(a) the principles which should govern-
(i) the distribution between the State and the Panchayats of the net
proceeds of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees leviable by the State,
which may be divided between them under this Part and the allocation
between the Panchayats at all levels of their respective shares of
(ii) the determination of the taxes, duties, tolls and fees which may
be assigned to, or appropriated by, the Panchayat;
(iii) the grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund
of the State;
(b) the measures needed to improve the financial position of the
(c) any other matter referred to the Finance Commission by the
Governor in the interests of sound finance of the Panchayats.
(2) The Legislature of a State may, by law, provide for the
composition of the commission, the qualifications which shall be
requisite for appointment as members thereof and the manner in which
they shall be selected.
(3) The Commission shall determine their procedure and shall have such
powers in the performance of their functions as the Legislature of the
State may, by law, confer on them.
(4) The Governor shall cause every recommendation made by the
Commission under this article together with an explanatory memorandum
as to the action taken thereon to be laid before the Legislature of
243J. Audit of accounts of Panchayats.- The Legislature of a State
may, by law, make provisions with respect to the maintenance of
accounts by the Panchayats and the auditing of such accounts.
243K. Elections to the Panchayats.-(1) The superintendence, direction
and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for, and the conduct
of, all elections to the Panchayats shall be vested in a State
Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be
appointed by the Governor.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any law made by the Legislature of a
State, the conditions of service and tenure of office of the State
Election Commissioner shall be such as the Governor may by rule de-
Provided that the State Election Commissioner shall not be removed
from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a
Judge of a High Court and the conditions of service of the State Elec-
tion Commissioner shall not be varied to his disadvantage after his
(3) The Governor of a State shall, when so requested by the State
Election Commission, make available to the State Election Commission
such staff as may be necessary for the discharge of the functions con-
ferred on the State Election Commission by clause (1).
(4) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the Legislature of
a State may, by law, make provision with respect to all matters re-
lating to, or in connection with, elections to the Panchayats.
243L. Application to Union territories.-The provisions of this Part
shall apply to the Union territories and shall, in their application
to a Union territory, have effect as if the references to the Governor
of a State were references to the Administrator of the Union territory
appointed under article 239 and references to the Legislature or the
Legislative Assembly of a State were references, in relation to a
Union territory having a Legislative Assembly, to that Legislative
Provided that the President may, by public notification, direct that
the provisions of this Part shall apply to any Union territory or part
thereof subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify
in the notification.
243M. Part not to apply to certain areas.-(1) Nothing in this Part
shall apply to the Scheduled Areas referred to in clause (1), and the
tribal areas referred to in clause (2), of article 244.
(2) Nothing in this Part shall apply to-
(a) the States of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram;
(b) the Hill Areas in the State of Manipur for which District Councils
exist under any law for the time being in force.
(3) Nothing in this Part-
(a) relating to Panchayats at the district level shall apply to the
hill areas of the District of Darjeeling in the State of West Bengal
for which Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council exists under any law for the
time being in force;
(b) shall be construed to affect the functions and powers of the
Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council constituted under such law.
(4) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,-
(a) the Legislature of a State referred to in sub-clause (a) of clause
(2) may, by law, extend this Part to that State, except the areas, if
any, referred to in clause (1), if the Legislative Assembly of that
State passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total
membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds
of the members of that House present and voting;
(b) Parliament may, by law, extend the provisions of this Part to the
Scheduled Areas and the tribal areas referred to in clause (1) subject
to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in such law,
and no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment of this
Constitution for the purposes of article 368.
243N. Continuance of existing laws and Panchayats.-Notwithstanding
anything in this Part, any provision of any law relating to Panchayats
in force in a State immediately before the commencement of the
Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992, which is
inconsistent with the provisions of this Part, shall continue to be in
force until amended or repealed by a competent Legislature or other
competent authority or until the expiration of one year from such
commencement, whichever is earlier:
Provided that all the Panchayats existing immediately before such
commencement shall continue till the expiration of their duration,
unless sooner dissolved by a resolution passed to that effect by the
Legislative Assembly of that State or, in the case of a State having a
Legislative Council, by each House of the Legislature of that State.
243-O. Bar to interference by courts in electoral matters.-
Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,-
(a) the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of
constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made
or purporting to be made under article 243K, shall not be called in
question in any court;
(b) no election to any Panchayat shall be called in question except by
an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as
is provided for by or under any law made by the Legislature of a
Constitution, after sub-clause (b), the following sub-clause shall be
"(bb) the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of a State
to supplement the resources of the Panchayats in the State on the
basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the
Constitution, the following Schedule shall be added, namely:-
1. Agriculture, including agricultural extension.
2. Land improvement, implementation of land reforms, land
consolidation and soil conservation.
3. Minor irrigation, water management and watershed development.
4. Animal husbandry, dairying and poultry.
6. Social forestry and farm forestry.
7. Minor forest produce.
8. Small scale industries, including food processing industries.
9. Khadi, village and cottage industries.
10. Rural housing.
11. Drinking water.
12. Fuel and fodder.
13. Roads, culverts, bridges, ferries, waterways and other means of
14. Rural electrification, including distribution of electricity.
15. Non-conventional energy sources.
16. Poverty alleviation programme.
17. Education, including primary and secondary schools.
18. Technical training and vocational education.
19. Adult and non-formal education.
21. Cultural activities.
22. Markets and fairs.
23. Health and sanitation, including hospitals, primary health
centres and dispensaries.
24. Family welfare.
25. Women and child development.
26. Social welfare, including welfare of the handicapped and mentally
27. Welfare of the weaker sections, and in particular, of the
Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.
28. Public distribution system.
29. Maintenance of community assets.".