Haryana Panchayati Raj Act provisions unconstitutional, says Congress

They restrict women’s right to contest to 50% of seats, it says

Terming the provisions in the Haryana Panchayati Raj (Second Amendment) Act, 2020 as arbitrary and unconstitutional, senior Congress leader and former Haryana Minister Karan Singh Dalal has asked Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya to get the Act annulled.

In a letter to the Governor, Mr. Dalal points outs that sub-Section 3 of Section 9 of the Act, which was notified by the State government on December 7 is arbitrary, irrational, discriminatory and unconstitutional.

The Act provides for 50% reservation to women in the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs).

“It is very unfortunate that the right to contest for women has been restricted to 50% by the government by amending the Act. The amendment means that their right to contest in all the seats which are not reserved has been snatched away from them. With the passage of time, many States have increased the reservation to 50% as a result of which the representation of women has even reached about 55% in Uttarakhand as many women were elected from non-reserved seats too,” he wrote.

Mr. Dalal said the amendments violate Article 243D of the Constitution. “The rationale behind the constitutional provision is to empower women and make the local governance institutions more inclusive and participatory. It facilitates more women at the grassroots democracy to participate in public life.”

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