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1. In An Interim Measure, Bombay HC Directs State To Prefer Govt Officials Over Private Individuals As Administrators Of Gram Panchayats

As elections in 14,000 gram panchayats across the State of Maharashtra have been deferred due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bombay High Court while hearing a batch of petitions filed on behalf of gram panchayats across the State, in an interim measure, directed the state government on Wednesday to prefer government officials over private individuals while appointing administrators for gram panchayats. Division bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Abhay Ahuja heard the petitions challenging the June 25 Ordinance promulgated by the Uddhav Thackeray led state government amending Section 151(1)(a) of the Maharashtra Village Panchayats Act giving power to the State Government to appoint an Administrator for gram panchayats. After the ordinance, a subsequent Government Resolution was issued by the State Rural Development Department dated July 13, by which powers have been delegated to the Chief Executive Officer of the respective Zilla Parishad in whose territorial jurisdiction the said Gram Panchayat is situated, to appoint any person as an Administrator of the said Gram Panchayat. The said Government Resolution also directs the Chief Executive Officer of the said Zilla Parishads to take assistance of the District Guardian Minister for the appointment of Administrators to Gram Panchayats.

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