Srinagar, Oct 31: When will the term of district development councils (DDCs) in Jammu & Kashmir end? This question arises as the law under which the 3rd tier of the Panchayati Raj system was constituted provides that a five-year term can be done away when common elections are held to all the tiers of the Panchayats.
A cursory look at the Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act-1989 provides that “the term of the district development council shall be five years except for holding common elections to all the tiers of the Panchayats simultaneously so that all the tiers have co-extensive terms in the district”.
This legal provision has triggered questions on whether the term of DDCs would end on January 9, 2024 when the term of Panchayats and Block Development Councils will end.
The term of Panchayats would end on January 9, 2024 as they were constituted on January 10, 2019.
According to the Panchayati Raj Act, the Sarpanch, the Naib-Sarpanch and every Panch of the Halqa Panchayat shall hold the office for a period of five years from the date of its constitution.
But in case of a bye-election or elections to fill a casual vacancy, the tenure of the Sarpanch, Naib Sarpanch or Panch so elected shall be co-terminus with the term of the Panchayat.
As per news agency, the term of block development councils will end on January 9, 2024 as they are co-extensive with the term of Halqa Panchayats of that block.
The block development councils in J&K were constituted on December 2, 2019.
An official said if the Government decides against holding simultaneous polls for three tiers of the Panchayati Raj system, the term of DDCs will end on February 24, 2026.
The DDCs were constituted on February 25, 2021.
The first-ever DDC election in Jammu & Kashmir was held in November- December 2020 after the Union Home Ministry amended the Jammu & Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act through an executive order by virtue of powers vested with it by The Jammu & Kashmir Reorganization Act- 2019.
In the election, the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration won 110 seats and BJP secured victory on 75 seats. This was the first major direct political activity in Jammu & Kashmir after the Government of India abrogated Article 370 and reorganized J&K into two UTs.