Bhubaneswar: The state government promulgated an ordinance by amending the existing panchayat laws Saturday, ahead of polls for the local-self bodies expected coming year.
“The Governor of Odisha is satisfied that circumstances exist, which render it necessary for him to take immediate action further to amend the Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, 1964, the Odisha Panchayat Samiti Act, 1959 and the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act, 1991,” the Odisha Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 published in the Odisha Gazette dated December 24, 2021 stated.
After promulgation of the ordinance amending panchayat laws, it has become mandatory for candidates contesting elections for the local-self bodies to furnish details on their own criminal antecedents, including assets and liabilities and educational qualifications at the time of filing nomination, the amended ordinance emphasised.
A source said that a candidate may face six-month jail term with fine for providing false information or concealing any in the affidavit. The new rules will be applicable in forthcoming panchayat elections scheduled to be held in February 2022.
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“If a candidate who himself / herself or through his / her proposer, with intent to be elected in an election gives false information which he/she knows or has reason to believe to be false or conceals any information in his/her nomination paper or in his affidavit which is required to be delivered shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or both,” the notification read.
Notably, people’s elected representatives in the local-self bodies have been accorded more power as per the amendment to Odisha Gram Panchayat Act, so that they can be engaged in relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities for Disaster Management.
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