Bihar panchayats deny Constitutional reservations
Panchayat elections in Bihar are being held after a gap of 23 years. In defiance of the Constitution, Bihar is going ahead with its village-level polls, without reserving posts for women, scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs).
Sub-clause 4 of Article 243 (D) of the Indian constitution clearly states, "When panchayats are constituted, one third of the posts of the panchayat president must be reserved for women. And there should be reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe, according to population in the state."
However in a 1996 judgment, the Patna High Court ruled that reservation of any post, which is a single post, is tantamount to 100 per cent reservation. And, therefore, any kind of reservation for posts, which are single, cannot be allowed. The Supreme Court has also failed to intervene in the matter.
And, in this way 3,000 women and 1,500 SC and ST candidates will be deprived of the opportunity to hold posts of Mukhiyas, Pramukhs, and Adhyakshas that are guaranteed to them by the Constitution.