The Punjab and Haryana high court directed the Punjab government's counsel on Monday to seek instructions whether the state government was willing to put up rosters of sarpanches' rotation prepared by deputy commissioners (DCs) on notice boards of offices of DCs/block development and panchayat officers (BDPOs)/panchayat secretaries well in advance of issuance of the notification for the upcoming panchayat elections.
The directions came on a public interest litigation filed by Nawanshahr resident Parvinder Singh Kittna, seeking appropriate directions to the state government to introduce transparency in the reservation and rotation of seats for the posts of sarpanch in various village panchayats by giving a public hearing to voters of the gram panchayats concerned.
The orders came when Punjab's counsel informed the court that although the rosters had been prepared by the DCs concerned at the block level, as envisaged under the reservation rules for sarpanches, yet these shall be put up on the notice boards only after the notification for the elections of gram panchayats was issued by the state election commission. But the court said voters of villages concerned must get sufficient time to challenge such rosters in case they felt aggrieved against reservation or rotation of the seat of sarpanch of their gram panchayat.
The petitioner's counsel, advocate HC Arora, informed the bench that till date all circulars, instructions, rosters and rules pertaining to reservation and rotation of seats of sarpanches had not been put on the official website of the state election commission, as directed by the high court on May 16.
The case would now come up for hearing on May 27.
The high court has on May 16 restrained the state government from issuing a notification for the panchayat polls' schedule till May 29.