Part IX-A has been added to the Constitution by the Constitution Seventy fourth Amendment) Act, 1992. It has inserted 18 new Articles and Twelfth Schedule relating to urban local bodies. It provides setting up of three types of Municipal Corporations. Explaining the purpose behind the introduction of Part IX-A in the Constitution, the Apex Court in Bondu Ramaswamy v. Bangalore Development Authority,” said: The Constitution (Seventy-fourth Amendment) Act, 1992 seeks to strengthen the system of municipalities in urban areas, by placing these self-Governments on sound and effective footing and provide measures for regular and fair conduct of elections.
Constitution of Municipalities (Article 243-Q)
Article 243-Q(1) provides for the establishment of the following types of Municipalities in every State-
- A Nagar Panchayat for a transitional area that is in transition from a rural area to an urban area, called by any name.
- A Municipal Council for a smaller urban area.
- A Municipal Corporation for a larger urban area.
Clause (2) provides that in Article 243Q, “a transitional area”, or ” smaller urban area” or “a larger urban area” means such area as the Govern may, having regard to the population of the area, the density of the population, the revenue generated for local administration, the percentage of employment in non-agricultural activities, the economic importance or such other factors as he may deem fit, specify by Public Notification for the purpose of this Part.
Composition Of Municipalities (Article 243-R)
Article 243R says that, all Municipalities shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the Municipal area and for this purpose each municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies known as wards.
Clause 2 of Article 243R empowers the Legislature of a State to law, for the representation in a Municipality of the following:
- Persons having special knowledge or experience in Municipal administration.
- The members of the Lok Sabha and of the Legislative Assembly of the State representing the constituencies which comprise wholly or partly the Municipal area.
- The members of the Rajya Sabha and of the Legislative Council of the State registered as electors within the Municipal area
- The Chairpersons of the Committees constituted under Clause (5) of Article 243S
- However, the persons referred to in paragraph (i) above shall not have right to vote in the meetings of the Municipality.
- The State Legislature may also provide, by law, the manner of election Chairperson of a Municipality.
Constitution and Composition of Wards Committees (Article 243-S):
Article 243S (1) provides for the constitution of Wards Committees within the territorial area of a Municipality having a population of 3 lakhs or more. The Wards Committee may consist of one or more Wards. The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provision with respect.
- The composition and the territorial area of a Wards Committee
- The manner in which the seats in a Wards Committee shall be filled
Reservation of Seats (Article 243-T):
- Article 243T (1) provides for the reservation of seats in Municipality for the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes in the same proportion as the population of the SCs and STs in the Municipal area bears to the total population of that area. Such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality.
- Of the total seats reserved under Clause (1) above, not less than one-third shall be reserved for Women belonging to the SCs and STs, as the case may be.
- Of the total seats (including the seats reserved for Women belonging SCS & STs) to be filled by direct election in every Municipality.
- Clause(3) of Article 243-T requires that not less than one-third shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies.
- Clause (4) of Article 243-T provides that the offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the SCs & STs and women in manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
- Clause (6) empowers the Legislature of a State to make provisions for the reservation of seats, as well as, the offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities in favour of backward class of citizens.
Duration Of Municipalities (Article 243-U):
- According to Article 243-U (1), every Municipality, unless sooner dissolved under any law for the time being in force, shall continue for 5 years from the date appointed for its first meeting and no longer.
- Clause (2) of Article 243-U further provided that no amendment of any law for the time being in force, shall have the effect of causing dissolution of a Municipality at any level, which is functioning immediately before such amendment, till the expiration of its duration of five years.
- Clause (3) of Article 243-U provides that an election to constitute Municipality shall be completed-
- Before the expiry of its duration of 5 years.
- Before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.
In case of a dissolved Municipality, if the remainder of the period for which it would have continued is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election for constituting that Municipality for such period. A Municipality constituted upon its dissolution shall continue only for the remainder of the period for which the dissolved Municipality would have continued had it not been so dissolved.
Disqualifications for Membership (Article 243-V)
According to Clause (1) of Article 243-V, a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of a Municipality:
- If he is so disqualified by or under any law for the time being in force for the purposes of elections to the Legislature of the State concerned. However, no person shall be disqualified on the ground that he is less than 25 years of age, if he has attained the age of 21 years.
- If he is so disqualified by or under any law made by the Legislature of the State.
Any question as to whether a member of a Municipality has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned above the question shall be referred for the decision of such authority and in such manner as the legislature of a State may, by law, provide.
Power, Authorities and Responsibilities (Article 243W)
It provides that the Legislature of a State, subject to the Constitution, may by law endow:
the Municipalities with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self government.
Power to Impose Taxes, etc. (Article 243-X)
Article 243-X provides that the Legislature of a State may, by law;
- Authorise a Municipality to levy, collect and appropriate such taxes, duties, tolls and fees in accordance with such procedure and subject to such limits.
- Assign to Municipality such taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied and collected by the State Government for such purposes and subject to such conditions and limits
- Provide for making such grants-in-aid to the Municipalities from the Consolidated Fund of the State
- Provide for constitution of such Funds for crediting all moneys received, respectively, by or on behalf of the Municipalities and also for the withdrawal of such moneys there from.
Article 243-Y provides that the Finance Commission constituted under Article 243 I shall also review the financial position of the Municipalities and may recommendations to the Governor on all such matters as contained in Article 243 I.
Audit of Accounts of Municipalities (Article 243-Z)
Article 243 Z empowers the Legislature of the State to make provision with respect to the maintenance of accounts by the Municipalities and the auditing of such accounts.
Elections To The Municipalities (Article 243-ZA)
Article 243-ZA envisages that the superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of all elections to the Municipalities is vested in the State Election Commission (SEC) referred to under Article 243-K (relating to Panchayats). The Legislature of a State may by law, make provisions with respect to all matters relating to, or in connection with, elections to the Municipalities.
Application of Part IX-A to Union Territories (Article 243-ZB) :
Article 243-ZB lays down that the provisions of Part IX-A shall apply to the Union Territories. However, the President may, by public notification, direct that the provisions of Part IX-A shall apply to any Union Territory or part thereof subject to such exceptions and modifications as he may specify in notification.
Exclusion of Application of Part IX-A to certain Areas (Article 243-ZC):
Article 243-ZC lays down that Part IX-A shall not apply to the Scheduled Areas, the Tribal Areas, Darjeeling Gorkha hill council. Clause (3) empowers Parliament to extend, by law, the provisions to Scheduled/Tribal Areas . No such law will be considered as amendment under Article 368.
Committee for District Planning (Article 243-ZD):
Article 243-ZD (1) provides for the constitution of a District Planning at the district level in every State. The main functions of the Committee shall be to consolidate the plansby the Panchayats and the Municipalities in the district and to draft development plan for the district as a whole. The legislature of a State may, by law, make provisions with respect the composition of the District Planning Committee:
- The manner in which the seats in such Committees shall be filled: Provided that not less than four-fifths of the total number of members of such Committee shall be elected by, and from amongst, the elected members of the Panchayat at the district level and of the Municipalities in the district in proportion to the ratio between the population of the rural areas and of the urban areas in the district:
- The functions relating to district planning which may be assigned to such Committee.
- The manner in which Chairpersons of such Committees shall be chosen.
Clause (3) of Article 243-ZD requires that every District Planning shall, in preparing the draft development plan,” have regard to –
- Matters of common interest between the Panchayats and the Municipalities including spatial planning, sharing of water and other physical and natural resources, the integrated development of infrastructure and environmental conservation.
- The extent and type of available resources whether financial or otherwise.
- Consult such institutions and organisations as the Governor may by order specify.
Committee for Metropolitan Planning (Article 243-ZE):
Article 243-ZE (1) provides for the constitution of a Planning Committee (MPC) in every Metropolitan area, to prepare a development plan for the Metropolitan area (MA) as a whole. The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provision with respect to –
- The composition of the MPCs
- The manner in which the seats in such Committees shall be filed Provided that not less than two-thirds of the members of such Committee shall be elected by, and from amongst, the elected members of the Municipalities and Chairpersons of the Panchayats in the MA in proportion to the ratio between the population of the Municipalities and of the Panchayats in that area
- The representation in such Committees of the Government of India and the Government of the State and of such organisations and institutions as may be deemed necessary for carrying out the functions assigned to such Committees
- The functions relating to planning and co-ordination for the MA which may be assigned to such Committees.
- The manner in which the Chairpersons of such Committees shall be chosen.
Bar to Interference by Courts (Article 243-ZG):
- Article 243-2G (a) provides for the exclusion of jurisdiction of courts in respect of the validity of any law relating to the delimitation of constituencies or the allotment of seats to such constituencies, made under Article 243-ZA.
- An election to any Municipality or that of the Chairman of the committee shall not be called in question except by an election petition presented to such authority and in such manner as is provided for by or any law made by the Legislature of a State.