सोमवार, 29 अगस्त 2011

Bhuria Committee Report for PESA

REPORT OF MPS AND EXPERTS
TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE SALIENT FEATURES OF THE LAW FOR EXTENDING PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION (73rd) AMENDMENT ACT, 1992 TO SCHEDULED AREAS 
1. The Ministry of Rural Development Government of India constituted a committee of select members of Parliament and Experts to make recommendations on the salient features of the law for extending provisions of Part XI of the Constitution to the Scheduled Areas. A copy of the order of the Ministry and composition of the Committee are available at Annexure I.
2. The Committee met on 16/7/1994 when it decided to constitute a group comprising the following members for detailed consideration of the matter and submission of a report to the committee.
i) Shri Dileep Singh Bhuria, MP Chairman of the Committee
ii) Shri Khagapati Pradhani, MP
iii) Prof M Kamson, MP
iv) Dr B D Sharma, Expert
v) Dr Bhupinder Singh, Expert
vi) Shri Bandi Oraon, Vice-Chairman SC/ST Commission
vii) Shrimati Sushma Singh, Joint Secretary (Monitoring), Convenor
3. The group met on 25/7/1994 and considered the matter from various angles. It decided that a sub-group comprising Dr BD Sharma, Dr Bhupinder Singh and Shrimati Sushma Singh should prepare a draft report for the consideration of the group. The sub-group consisting of the three met on 17/8/1994 and discussed the matter in detail from various points of view. They also considered the different paragraphs of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
4. We are grateful to Dr Bhupinder Singh, Expert member of the Committee for preparing a number of drafts of the report from time to time. In the final report herewith he has epitomised the discussion and views of the Committee.
5. The Intent of the Constitutional Amendment Act
5.1 The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 purports to devolve on Panchayats "such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institution of self-government". Article 243G calls upon the state government to endow powers authority and responsibilities upon Panchayats with respect to
(a) preparation of plans for economic development and social justice
(b) implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to matters listed in XIth Schedule.
5.2 Reservation of seats have been stipulated for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, the number of seats bearing approximately the same proportion to the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in the Panchayat as the population of Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes in that Panchayat area bears to the total population. Similarly, reservation has been made for women not less than one-third of the total numbers of seats to be filled in by direct election being reserved for women. The offices of Chairperson reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should bear the same proportion to the total of such offices in Panchayats at each level as the population of Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes bears to the total population of the state. In so far as women are concerned one-third of the total number of offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level have been reserved for women.
5.3 The normal tenure of Panchayats has been prescribed as five years. Further, a Panchayat has to be re-constituted before the expiry of its tenure or before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution.
5.4 The sources of finance of Panchayats have been pinpointed as follows:
i) such taxes, duties, tolls and fees are authorised by the state legislature to be collected
ii) such taxes, duties, tolls and fees are collected by state government and assigned to Panchayats
iii) grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Funds of the State
iv) devolution made by the State Finance Commission
Thus, along with powers and responsibilities, the Act locates specific sources of funding and makes the functioning of Panchayats practical and operational.
5.5 Corresponding provisions exists in constitution "74th Amendment Act, 1993 on Municipalities" applicable to urban areas. It is note-worthy, however, that a small number of urban areas fall within tribal areas.
6. An important feature of Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 through which Part IX comprising of article 243 to 243O was inserted is that its provision does not apply automatically to Scheduled and tribal areas. Specifically, article 243 M exempts from application of its provision the following:
(i) the functions and powers of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council
(ii) the state of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram each of whose legislature may extend the provisions in the state concerned barring the tribal areas of article 242
(iii) the hill areas in the state of Manipur for which district council exists under any law for the time being in force
(iv) the scheduled areas of article 244 (1) notified as per Fifth Schedule and tribal areas of article 244(2) notified as per the Sixth schedule
It has to be appreciated that the bulk of tribal population lives in scheduled areas and tribal areas referred to in category (iv) above. In so far schedule areas and tribal areas are concerned article 243M (4) (b) makes the provision that Parliament may, by law, extend the provisions of the act subject to such exceptions and modifications as may be specified in such law and no such law shall be deemed to be an amendment to the constitution. This shows clearly that the schedule areas, the tribal areas and the other three category areas indicated above have been treated on a different footing as compared to the rest of the country.
7. At this stage, it is desirable to recapitulate some of the General Salient views expressed by the members:
13.1 The Constitution presently provides Fifth Schedule for Scheduled Areas all over the country and the Sixth Schedule for some tribal areas of the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura in the north-east region. The major features of the Fifth Schedule area Tribes Advisory Council, Governor’s powers to adapt laws passed by Parliament and State Legislatures and maing regulations for Scheduled Areas having the force of law, and extension of the executive power of the Union Government to the giving of directions to a State for administration of Scheduled Areas. In contradistinction, the Sixth Schedule deals with constitution of autonomous districts councils and autonomous regions specifying for them legislative, judicial, executive, developmental and financial powers and functions. On the whole, the Fifth Schedule provides for Schedules Area of a state, an enabling frame for legislation in the form of a Tribes Advisory Council and is paternalistic in its design. It contains the potential to become a potent instrument for prevention of exploitation and discrimination as well as for governance of Scheduled Areas in tribal interests. On the other hand, the Sixth Schedule spells out in different spheres the concept of self-management for autonomous councils and regional councils at the districts and regions level respectively. Its focus is on the district level as a unit.
23.1 It is note-worthy that some tribal areas in the country are covered neither by the Fifth nor the Sixth Schedules of the Constitution. For instance, the hill areas of Manipur State comprising about 90 per cent of the total geographical area of the State is pre-dominantly tribal in demographic character. In Assam also, tribal areas of the State have been left out of both the Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution. The tribes of north plain of Brahamaputra have been unable to take advantage of constitutional provisions as per the two Schedules. The process of scheduling was commenced in the fifties and was resumed in the seventies as part of making the Tribal Sub-Plan and Scheduled Area co-termi9nus. But somehow it has remained incomplete. It is necessary that the remaining Tribal sub-Plan and MADA areas, as well as similar pockets in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerela and Karnataka should be covered by Scheduled Areas notification.
33.1 The 73rd and 74th Constitution Amendment Acts confer authority on legislatures of States to endow respectively Panchayats and Municipalities with such powers and functions as may be necessary to enable them to act as institutions of self-government. For the purpose, the Panchayats and Municipalities have been charged with the responsibility of preparing and implementing plans for economic development and social justice including those in relation to matters listed in Eleventh Schedule and Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution. In certain respects, the subjects covered by the eleventh Schedule go beyond functions mentioned for autonomous district councils (ADCs) in the Sixth Schedule. It is, however, pertinent that the bestowal of all or any of the powers on Panchayats rests with the State legislature concerned and is not automatic. In contrast, the powers and functions indicated in the Sixth Schedule are mandatory and do not flow from any further devolution or authorisation.
43.1 It was emphasised by a number of members that customary law traditional practices, community ethos etc should pervade whatever politico-legal-administrative structures are brought into being in Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas. In fact, the make-up of these structures should be imbued with mode of living, organisation, cultural mores etc of tribal community. A second important facet should aim at combating and preventing exploitation and building up political, economic, social, moral etc strength of these communities.
53.1 The institutions proposed for the Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas should be vested with adequate competence to deal with emerging problems among tribal people like growing indebtedness, land alienation, deforestation, ecological degradation, displacement on account of industrialisation and modernisation, excise policy, alcohol and drug addiction, hydel, water etc resources. It has to be ensured that access to natural resources in tribal areas remain with tribal people and they should be suitably empowered to utilise them for sustainable development.
63.1 Another important aspect concerning institution under consideration for Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas is their structure and strength to enable the people in these areas to have access to and command over natural resources. The significance of this aspect will be apparent from the fact the people have been having control over them. While providing access, it has also to be ensured that the proposed institutions are shaped appropriately with a view to utilisation through them of the natural resources for sustainable development.
73.1 Note was taken of the fact that in some tribal regions the existening Panchayati Raj system comprising three-tiers of Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samitis abnd Zila Parishads have been accepted by tribal people. But in some other regions the traditional organisatonal structures and leadership are still influential. In the latter areas, the Panchayat Raj system has not been a conspicuous success. There is a need therefore to ensure that in any system that is proposed that traditional system are allowed to play their due role.
83.1 It is also to be recognised that many tribal communities are face to face communities and they have been regulating their politico-social legal affairs on the basis of principles, procedures, practices, norms, conventions, traditions, precedents etc as a result of indigenous growth over decades and centuries. As such they find the modern formal systems difficult of understanding and operation. For example, the choice of leadership among them has been based on informal consensus or selection by the people of the village or the region. Decision-making also has been through consensus rather than by count of votes. These indicate that the traditional practices, processes and procedures of tribal communities have been different from those cast in formal moulds of the present day systems. It is desirable that the traditional arrangements should not be disturbed. Traditional systems of the Gram Sabha should be accepted. In other words, nothing should be imposed from above on the Gram Sabha, which runs counter to the established traditional order, customs, conventions etc.
8. Apart from the views expressed above some important issues which were raised during the meetings were as follows:
13.1 There has to be substantial and meaningful decentralisation. The Constitution envisages division of functions between the Centre and the States. But democratic decentralisation from the State to the districts and down to the village level, which has been talked of since the past four decades, needs now to be made real. The most significant devolution should occur from the State to the district level and from the district to the grass-root tier. The Panchayat Constitutional Amendment Act has laid guidelines for such devolutions for areas other than Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas. We should evolve appropriate paradigms for Scheduled Areas annd Tribal Areas, as per article 243(4)(b).
23.1 At the Grass-root, we should think of an entity which has had in tribal history, live organic functioning. Rough and hilly topography and thinly populated scattered villages characterises tribal areas. A Gram Sabha represents such an entity at village or hamlet level. Over and above it, a group of villages or hamlets various "Paraganas" or "Anchal" or "Parha" are found. In the greater part of Central India, the two have been live homogenous units/conglomerates of socio-politico administration. Such administrative arrangements enabled the tribal communities to manage their affairs all through the ages. The traditional organisational set-up based, inter-alia, on physiography, topography etc should be taken as the basis for build-up under consideration.
33.1 It has also to be recognised that the demographic lay-out in tribal areas is diverse, varying considerably from region to region. North-East region represents typically its own pattern.
9. In item(e) of the preceding paragraph, we have made a reference to Jharkhand and Bodoland movements. These movements are symbolic of general unrest in tribal areas of the country. It is relevant to recall that the Naxalites movement also had its origin and sweep its the tribal areas during the decades of sixties and early seventies, its adherents are still active in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The originators of this movement found fertile ground in tribal areas on account of waves of discontent and unrest in tribal areas. The causes relate to exploitation and discrimination co mounded by neglect by those responsible for tribal development and welfare. Comprehensive treatment of the Jharkhand movement may be found in the report of the Committee on Jharkhand Matters (1990) and of the Bodoland movement in the report of the Three-Member Expert Committee (1992).
10. Tribal life and economy, in the not too distant past, bore a harmonious relationship with nature and its endowment. It was an example of sustainable development. But with the influx of outside population, it suffered grievous blows. The colonial system was established on the basis of expropriation of the natural and economic resources of tribal has been difference in the approach after the departure of the colonial masters from tribal areas, in practice, the principles enunciated in Article 39 and other Directive Principles of State Policy have to be followed more rigorously. On account of their simplicity and ignorance, over the decades the tribals have been dispossesses of their natural and economic resources like Land, Forest, Water, Air etc. The dispossession has not been confined to that through private parties. For the purpose of promotion of general economic development projects, the State also has been depriving them of the basic means of livelihood. These processes have been operative since a long time causing human misery and socio-economic damage. No reliable picture is yet available, for instance, we are not seized of the total quantum of land alienated from the tribals both on private and state account, nor the number of families, clans or tribes involved. This has compelled some to perceive development as an agent of destruction. But since planned development has been an article of faith with us, it has to be ensured that implementation of the policies and programmes drawn up in tribal interest are implemented in tribal interest. Since, by and large, the politico-bureaucratic apparatus has failed in its endeavour, powers should be devolved on the people so that they can formulate programmes which suit them and implement them for their own benefits.
11. The report of the Working Group on Tribal Development during the Eighth Plan period is in a way an indictment of the fall-out of the plannet development during the last four decades, notwithstanding the unexceptionable objectives and strategy followed in the Tribal sub-plan (TSP) concept. The reasons for failure have been splet out elsewhere a number of times and need not be repeated here. Nevertheless, very broadly, it may be stated that the essentials of the concept have been ignored and mechanical courses followed routinely. In fact, traditional tribal conventions and laws should continue to hold validity. Harmonisation with modern systems should be consistent therewith.
Line of Action
12. As already mentioned, Article 243M exempts Scheduled Areas referred to in Article 244(1) and tribal areas referred to in Article 244(2) from application of Part IX i.e. the provisions of 73rd Constitution Amendment Act. The Committee was informed that the State Governments have passed legislations for Panchayats as per the provisions of the Constitution (Seventy-third Amendment) Act, 1992 In doing so, they seem to have ignored the exemptions provided for in Article 243M. That is to say the legislations passed by the States apply to the Scheduled Areas of clause (1) of Article 244. We feel that since Article 243M(4)(b) provides for extension of the provisions of Part IX to Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas by the Parliament subject to such exceptions and modifications as it may specify in the law passed for the purpose, we feel that Parliament should pass such law. The law passed by Parliament will extend to Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas to the supersession of the corresponding provisions of State Law. It is the endeavour of this Committee to make suitable recommendations in this report for consideration of the Parliament.
Objects and Reasons
13. Most of the tribal societies in India have been practising democracy, having been characterised by egalitarian spirit. Cognizance has to be taken of their indigenous institutions and ethos while considering democratic decentralisation in tribal areas.
13.1 Time-honoured customary usages and arrangements in tribal areas should be respected and allowed to continue. Traditional tribal conventions and laws should continue to hold validity. Harmonisation with modern systems should be consistent therewith.
13.2 Panchayati Raj bodies in tribal areas should be made more effective and more participative in the context of the foregoing. More than in the past they have to function as institutions of self-governance and development. They have to work for socio-economic goals for removal of poverty, illiteracy, ill-health etc. among the people.
13.3 For attainment of the aforesaid goals, flow of adequate funds has to be ensured. Such funds should be utilised for the purpose they are set apart and should not be diverted. Suitable financial mechanisms should be created for proper utilisation of funds.
13.4 Since the 1992 Act does not take into account the unique features of tribal areas, we make recommendations as embodied in this report.
Role of Fifth and Sixth Schedules
14. There was a general consensus in our meetings that advantages should be taken of the both the Fifth and Sixth Schedules in drafting the law under Articles 243(40(b). We should interpret the provisions of the two Amendment Acts as inter-linked with and reinforcing the Fifth and Sixth Schedules, since there is nothing to indicate that they are inconsistent with each other. The Fifth Scheduled is to be deemed as a broad and powerful over-arching frame, serving as the fountain-head of essential and beneficial legislation.
Sixth Schedule Frame Suitable
15. Flowing from the rationale of the two Constitutional Amendments and drawing sustenance from the Fifth Schedule, a general view has emerged among tribal leaders, representatives and experts that even for the vast Central Indian tribal heartland, with certain changes, the overall design of the Sixth Schedule could serve as a relevant reference frame for a district within the broader canvas of the Fifth Schedule. This view found articulation in our meetings as also in other fora. We understand that in the State of Madhya Pradesh which has already legislated as per directive in the two Acts, a move has been afoot for constituting autonomous district councils in tribal areas as prescribed in the Sixth Scheduled of the Constitution. We are aware that in the Central Indian territory, we are dealing with a situation which is qualitatively different from that of the North-East and sub-Himalayan regions. Though in many districts in Scheduled Areas and north-eastern tribal areas, the tribal population is in majority, non-tribal segments may form a sizeable minority. As such, the functioning of autonomous district councils in the Central Indian areas may be of a different order and kind as compared to what obtains in the north-east. In fact, the district councils may have to be given a deliberate appropriate orientation.
16. This impels us to scan the Sixth, schedule closely, particularly in the light of the fact that sometimes, diametrically opposite views have been expressed in regard to its utility. In the first instance, we refer here to some lacunae we have come across in the Sixth Schedule, those that have marred its working over the years:
1 The Sixth Schedule focuses itself entirely on the district tier and does not concern itself with tiers under-pinning it. The result is that in some Sixth Schedule areas of the North East, no democratic of even sometimes traditional institutionalised tiers are found below it, i. e. at the sub-district level.
2 As per para 16(2) the power of dissolution of an autonomous district council has not been accompanied by a mandate for reconstitution and hence, is liable to misuse.
3 There is no express provision that election has to be held within six months of the date of the dissolution of an autonomous district council as provided for in the two Amendment Acts.
4 According to para 13, the estimated receipts and expenditure pertaining to an autonomous district council are first to be placed before the district council for discussion and thereafter be shown separately in the annual financial statement of the State to be laid before the legislature of a State under Article 202. It has been reported that the discussion in an ADC is treated by State authorities as a mere formality leading to the complaint that no real autonomy has been conferred.
These are some outstanding examples of shortcomings in the Sixth Schedule noticed during implementation and they need to be remedied. But that does not detract from the utility of the Sixth Schedule as a broad charter of autonomy.
17. In so far as the present matter is concerned, we feel that the aid of the Fifth Schedule should be sought for framing regulations or for any other legislation as may be necessary. The Sixth Schedule is useful for designing an instrument of self-administration at district level for Scheduled Areas.
18. When we consider the Fifth Schedule, we cannot ignore the institution of Tribes Advisory council prescribed in para 4 thereof. Such a Council consists of about three-fourths members who are Scheduled Tribe MLAs in the State. The feeling in our meetings was that the record of TACs in the States showed that they have been dysfunctional, by and large. Many of them have not held their meetings regularly. The major problem has been that their contribution to policy-making or monitoring implementation of tribal programmes has not been significant. One view was that with such a record, it is possible that the TAC becomes an obstacle in the Panchayati Raj structure. However, the other view which prevailed, was that since the TAC is a constitutional body, being a part of the Fifth Schedule, it should not be abolished. On the other hand, action should be taken to reform it and make it functional and workable. For the purpose, it should be able to deal with matters which it thinks are important, in addition to those on which its advice has been sought on reference by the Governor, as indicated in the Fifth Schedule. For instance, currently land alienation, deprivation of tribals of their natural resources, displacement on account of establishment of industrial, mining hydel etc. projects, are the burning problems, of tribals and a TAC should concern itself with these. It should be consulted on legislation to be passed by the State Legislature covering Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas. When called upon to do so, it may express its view on legislation passed by an autonomous district council within its legislative competence. It should play a more constructive and purposeful part in the over-all frame. The Chief Minister should be its Chairman and its meetings should be held quarterly. We suggest that the Fifth Schedule may be amended in the light of these observation to make its role functional.
19. We are aware that there used to be, some time ago, a Central Advisory Council to aid and advise the Government of India in policies, plans, programmes etc. of tribal development and their implementation, monitoring, evaluation etc. This body has been defunct since a long time. The Government of India is deprived of the experience and counsel of a number of important tribal representatives, social scientists, experts, retired administrators, activists etc. We recommend the revival of such a body at the apex of TACs so that the Central Government is enabled to profit from its rich input. In fact, the proposed Central Advisory Council should advise on reference by the Governor in case of difference between the State govt. and Tribes Advisory Council or between a District Council and Tribes Advisory Council. In deliberating tribal issues, the Central Advisory Council should keep in view the desideratum of preservation of traditional tribal religious beliefs and practices. Further, its advice should normally be binding. It should be chaired by the Prime Minister and its members may be Welfare Minister, Home Minister, Rural Development, Minister, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission etc.
20. We attempt hereunder to delineate broadly our recommendations for a legal frame which could be passed by Parliament. It should be well understood that the law passed by Parliament. It should be well understood that the law passed by the Parliament will automatically extend to Scheduled Areas and suitable details may be filled in through regulations under the Fifth Schedule.
Salient Features of Proposals
21. Before we enunciate the legal frame, we would like to spel out a few basic premises we regard as important :
(i) The scheme should pre-eminently be related to participative democracy, particularly at the grass-root and district levels should bear a living relationship with the self-management practices which have been in vogue in tribal areas. The autonomy should be non-manipulable.
(ii) The Gaon Sabha or the Gram Sabha at the hamlet/village level should exercise the different functions as traditionally prescribed. More specifically, management of Land, Forest, Water, Air etc. resources should be vested in it. This right should be deemed as axiomtic in the functioning of Gram Panchayat, the intermediate panchayat and the district councils, and also where necessary to be woven into dejure dicta, regulations, laws etc. We would like to emphasise harmonious inter-play of forces at the different tiers.
(iii) Many of the present day administrative boundaries were determined during colonial times, based on colonial compulsions. There have been some changes thereafter. But, by and large, the earlier boundaries have stayed with the resulting situation that tribal people are located on borders, be it state, district or block, marginalising them in every way and fragmenting larger communities and areas. States should consider, say within a period of two years, reorganisation of the boundaries based on ethnic, demographic and geographic considerations. We feel that these parameters will lead to more rational delimitation.
(iv) In the context to tribal grievances and aspirations, there have been insurgencies, agitations, movements as in North-East, Jharkhand region, Bodoland. We are presently a witness to agitation for Uttarakhand. We feel that tribal aspirations can be satisfied if tribal regions are conferred sub-state status. It may be recalled that Meghalaya had received a sub-state status in 1971. Further, we regard the autonomous district council status for districts in central Indian tribal tracts as in the nature of sub-federalism.
(v) The Land Acquisition Act which enables the State to take over andy land for "a public purpose", being based on the principle of individual land ownership, does not take cognizance of the customary regulation of common property resources in tribal areas. Among many tribal communities, land and such other natural resources are owned jointly by the community and its use by individuals is sanctioned by the community. In not recognising this basic principle in tribal areas, the Land Acquisition Act is premised on unrealistic ground. The basic lacunae in the Act have to be removed. The consent of the local village community should be obligatory. The rehabilitation package should be operated with the consent of the local village community. Viable and acceptable package of livelihood should be offered as a means of rehabilitation to the affected families. In other words, land should be acquired with the consent of the Gram Sabha, making provision for alternative livelihood for the concerned families acceptable to them.
(vi) It has been observed that the lower functionaries of departments like police, excise, forest, revenue have generally, been acting against tribal interests and have even become repressive and exploitative. The Committee felt that in the tribal areas, the role of these functionaries is minimal, whereas, they tend to over-bear on the tribal and village communities. To eliminate undue interference, the role of police should be minimal and confined to law and order and heinous crimes. The view was expressed that the police should function under the control of ADCs. However, the Home Ministry was of the view that this was not in keeping with the arrangement prevailing in the country. Government servants posted in the autonomous districts should be under the control of the district councils.
(vii) Tribal areas are rich in Mineral, Forest, Hydel, Water etc. resources, as a result of which they have been becoming the hub of growth of industries. However, the tribal people have benn marginalised in the process of industrialisation and urbanisation, leading to strong resentment among them. It has been our stand that the tribal community should be regarded as in command of the economic resources. In this view of the matter, in a resource-based industry, the partnership of the village community and the outside capitalist-financiers should be recognised. The district and other councils charged with the responsibility will, no doubt, make appropriate laws for regulation of land and other resources for industries.
Hamlet/Village tier and Gram Sabha
22. The primary unit we contemplate may be a Gram Sabha for a hamlet, or a group of hamlets or a village, as the case may be, in a tribal area. It comprises a face-to-face community managing its affairs in accordance with well-established traditions and customs. The customary codes and procedures should not be disturbed. A hamlet/village comprising a community in a tribal area must be distinguished from a revenue village which is more of an administrative entity. It should be clearly understood that in tribal areas hamlets are more common than big villages. The next level of traditional institutions usually comprises a group of hamlets/villages, variously called Parha or Pargna. In some tribal areas, traditionally village council have been constituted and at the inter-village level regional councils have been constituted. Both at the village and at the regional level, traditional organisations have been conducting socio-political, economic and judicial affairs. The Gram Sabha may nominate its executive council, which may be a traditional body. In any event, the wholesome influence, wisdom and experience of the older generation should not be discounted, particularly since the reins of affairs have been for aeons, in their hands.
Gram Panchayat
23. For a group of hamlets/villages i.e. for an Anchal or Parha or Pargana, it should be a Gram/Anchal/Parha Panchayat, composed of elected representatives.
24. The foregoing formulation would lead to a participative hamlet/village tier and a formal Gram Panchayat tier. This is necessitated by the topographical and demographic conditions in the tribal areas, as already explained. It should, however, be understood that there cannot be any hard and fast rule prescribing the number of tiers in all in the district. The physiographic, topographic, demographic etc. conditions vary from State to State.
Intermediate Panchayat
25. The next i.e. intermediate tier Panchayat in tribal areas may be the same as elsewhere in the country, variously called Panchayat Samiti, Janpada Sabha, Taluka Panchayat etc. co-terminus with a development block area.
Autonomous District Council
26. The next level i.e. the district requires close examination. Presently, as a part of the three-tier structure, Zila Parishads exist in many states of the country. We have also the examples of several north-eastern states which, with enterenched democratic structures and practices, have been able to do well with traditional village and district-level formations, as in Nagaland, Mizoram. But in so far as the generality of tribal areas in the other parts of the country is concerned, it would appear that the dominant bureaucratic apparatus at the district-level has hardly touched any tribal chord. It is in this context that we hark to the structure of autonomous district councils contained in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in force in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura. The Sixth Schedule was conceived by the framers of the Constitution to be an instrument of socio-economic development and self-management of hill tribal communities inhabiting the districts. The self-managements was expected to satisfy ethnic aspirations of the tribal communities. It can not be gain-said that it has fulfilled that goal to a larger or smaller extent. While we wish that the self-management concept be adopted for the central Indian tribal areas, we feel that the seats in the district council may be filled up by election, carving out constituencies appropriately in the district. However, some scope could be retained for nomination in the district council or representatives of certain minority tribal communities who cannot come through the election process, through setting apart seats not exceeding five in number for representation of such minority communities, to be filled up in consultation with the Governor.
27. We know of certain districts which are not tribal – majority districts, in the sense that scheduled tribe people do not constitute more than 50% of the total population of the district. But the STs are concentrated in a part of parts of the district, say in some blocks or a sub-division or sub-divisions. If the tribal population in these units is substantial in absolute terms, there is no reason why analogous arrangements should not be ushered in such areas. Councils to be formed for such areas could be termed as Autonomous Sub-District Councils (ASDCs). ASDCs should be conferred powers and functions at part with those of ADCs. However this may be regarded as an interim arrangement, pending reorganization of administrative boundaries, which we have recommended elsewhere in this report. As we have mentioned there, the reorganization should be completed within a couple of years.
28. We have envisaged a village council/Gram Sabha, Anchal council, intermediate council and district council. But there could be in addition to these, area councils. For instance, in the State of Bihar there had been Chotanagpur and Santhal Parganas. Authority now trifurcated into three authories. Under contemplation in the Jharkhand region, is in area council.
29. The group considered the question of association of MLAs and MPs with the intermediate (block) panchayats and district councils. The 1992 Constitution Amendment Act provides for representation of the members of the House of the People and members of the Legislative Assembly of the State representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly a Panchayat area, at a level other than the village level. The consensus which emerged was that it is desirable to associate Scheduled Tribe MLAs and MPs for many reasons in the district and intermediate panchayats. Thought the two function at state and national levels respectively, they remain in touch with the grassroot level. Their presence in the councils of the two upper tiers would as a result, be doubly advantageous i.e. for the grass-root views to be reflected at the state and national levels and for the national and state level policies to be transmitted to the district and sub-district levels. It was, however, felt that, from the national level, the representation should be limited to Scheduled Tribe Lok Sabha members. From the State level, this restriction may not be applied and MLAs whose constituencies fall within the jurisdiction of the intermediate and district councils may find place in the two tiers.
30. The group was further of the view that notwithstanding the fact that the areas under consideration i.e. Scheduled Areas are expected to have majority of tribal population, it is necessary to stipulate that the Panchayats therein will have a majority of Scheduled Tribe members. The reason is that the Scheduled Areas were notified as such on account of majority of Scheduled Tribe population, contiguity etc. In course of time, on account of influx of non-ST population, in a few Scheduled Areas, the status of the ST population might have been reduced to minority. That should not be regarded to have been reduced to minority. That should not be regarded to have altered over-all the character of the Scheduled Areas. The chairmen and vice-chairmen should belong to scheduled tribes. One-third of the seats should be reserved for women.
31. In para 5 supra, we made reference to some features of the Constitutional Amendment. At this juncture, we wish to reiterate that an elected Panchayat should be reconstituted within six months of the dissolution of an existing one. Further, that the act of dissolution should not be taken lightly, it should be based on substantial, serious and convincing evidence like malfeasance or anti-national, anti-constitutional etc. nature. Moreover, it should be ordered by the Governor. We presume that the question of dissolution is and will remain justiciable.
Assignment of subjects to panchayats
32. To the Constitution Seventy-third (Amendment) Act, 1992 on the Panchayats has been appended the Eleventh Schedule which contains subjects assigned by the two Acts respectively to the Panchayats and the Municipalities. Further, Article 243G of the former Act and 243W of the latter confer on the Legislature of a State the authority to endow Panchayats with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of self-government and for preparation and implementation of plans for economic development and social justice. It is seen that the items contained in the Schedule are of wide-ranging nature.
33. The Sixth Schedule of the Constitution which is a charter for autonomy for some tribal areas of the north-east, assigns a number of functions for the district councils of those tribal areas. We have given careful thought to the questions as to the most suitable pattern for the councils at the district level. As we have mentioned earlier, the Sixth Schedule confers powers of legislation and administration of justice on the district councils apart from the executive, developmental and financial responsibilities. We note that the Panchayats and Municipalities of the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts, have been entrusted with such wide-ranging responsibilities. We are of the view that we should adopt for districts in Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas the Sixth scheduled format but expand it to include subjects that are indicated in the two Acts. Further, that the village community, that is at the level of Gram Sabha, should have the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of tribals in matters relating to Land, Water, Forest, Minor Forest produce etc. They should be vested with the power to regulate and use community Land, Forest (other than Reserve Forest), Water, Air and other natural resources, Local Schools, dispensaries, Roads, Ferries, Markets etc. Government servants serving in the respective Panchayats should be under their control. The right to mineral leases should be pre-empted in favour of the community.
34. A communitarian and cooperative spirit among the tribals and tribal communities has been a conspicuous feature. When modern societies have been shedding such a spirit in favour of individualism, many Tribal societies have been able to retain it. It is manifest in a number of their undertakings like shifting cultivation, house construction. Not usually accustomed to joint working, members of the formal administration have been oblivious of the advantages of cooperative endeavours. There is need to pay attention to this attribute ingrained among tribal individuals and collectivities. We suggest that the Panchayats which will come into being as a result of the law of Parliament to be enacted in accordance with Article 243(4) (b), should pay adequate attention to this aspect. We are aware that cooperatives have been created in tribal areas by the administration, including, LAMPS. But we are of the view that these cooperatives did not have much chance of a success due to their formal structure, rigid procedures and certain underlying assumptions. The tribal societies have been run on oral traditions and a general presumption of trust in each other. We hope that the Panchayats will be enabled to establish cooperative organisations suitable to the tribal milieu, capturing the innate tribal sensibilities.
Legislative
35. The legislative powers of an Autonomous District Panchayat should extend to the following:
(a) the allotment, occupation or use, the setting apart, of land, other than any land which is a reserved forest, for the purposes of agriculture or grazing or for residential or other non-agricultural purposes or for any other purpose likely to promote the interest for the inhabitants of any village or town:
Provided that nothing in such laws shall prevent the compulsory acquisition of any land, whether occupied or unoccupied, for purposes of defence, railways, roads, educational and health institutions by the Government of the State concerned in accordance with the law for the time being in force authorising such acquisition :
(b) Management of forest
(c) Management of minor forest produce
(d) Management of water resources
(e) Regulation of practice of shifting cultivation
(f) Establishment of town committees or councils and their powers
(g) Matters relating to village or town administration including village or town police.
(h) Appointment or succession of chiefs or heads
(i) Customary law including inheritance, marriage, divorce etc.
(j) Local customs
(k) Control of money-lending, and trading by non-tribals
(l) Excise
(m) Laws regarding partnership of local communities in enterprises based on local resources.
As provided for in the Sixth Schedule, laws made relevant to the above subjects will have to be approved by the Governor of the State.
36. The Committee were emphatic that such laws should be enforced as would prevent further alienation of the tribal land. The principle of evidence should be that the onus of proof of the member of a non-ST community having acquired the land legitimately should lie on that member and not on the ST transferor. There should also be an embargo on sale of tribal land by authorities, since oftentimes STs are trapped into situations due to there ignorance of law and realities. In Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas, land should be transferable only to members of Scheduled Tribes, irrespective of whether the transferor is a member of Scheduled Tribe or not.
Administration of Justice
37. It has been observed that modern legal system creates wedge between people and parties, while traditional systems bind the people in societal and fraternal ties. In fact, the legal and conventional jurybased systems evolved by the tribal (and sometimes other rural) communities have kept these communities going for ages. Their virtues should be squarely conceded and the traditional legal bodies should be recognised to enable them to continue to function. There should be no police interference in cases under adjudication by traditional bodies. In other words, in so far as administration of justice is concerned, in all matters other than those for which the Governor may confer powers on a court, it should continue to be dispenses with, as at present, by the traditional bodies which exist mostly at the village and inter-village levels. The police should take congisance or entertain complaints in respect of matters within the jurisdiction of the Gram Sabha only when the Gram Sabha so directs for reasons adopted in a resolution. Law Officers should be trained in tribal customary law and, if found fit, they should be posted to assist tribal juries.
Executive
38. In para 6 of the Sixth Schedule, executive, regulartory and developmental functions have been indicated for the District Council. It is pertinent to compare them with 29 items mentioned in the Eleventh Schedule (Annex - II). It will be advantageous to include all the items mentioned in para 6(1) of the Sixth Scheduled and the Eleventh Schedules.
39. Paras 8 and 9 of the Sixth Schedule are regulatory in character, the former dealing with the power to assess and collect land revenue and to impose taxes and the latter dealing with share of royalties accruing from licenses or leases for the purpose of prospecting for or extraction of minerals. This provision should be kept for the ADCs.
40. In tribal areas the occurrence of urban conglomerates is not as common as in non-tribal areas. Nevertheless, wherever they occur, it is found that tribal pockets within such a conglomerate are more or less administratively autonomous. This needs to be given due recognition. Further, municipalities and notified area councils and other such bodies should function under the overall control of district autonomous councils. However, this will need examination in the light of the Seventy-fourth Constitution Amendment Act.
Financial
41. The Panchayat and Municipalities Acts provide for the following sources of finances:
(a) Through levy of collection of taxes, duties, tolls and fees {Article 243 H(a)}
(b) Assignment by the state govt. of such taxes, duties, tolls and fees as are levied and collected by the State Governments
(c) Grants-in-aid to the panchayats from the Consolidated Fund or the State
(d) Devolution of financial awards by a State Finance Commission (Article 243I)
42. Compared thereto, the provision in the Sixth Schedule is simpler. The only source of finance it contemplates is from the Consolidated Fund of the State. As indicated earlier, this provision has not been adequate and not working satisfactorily.
43. It needs to be recalled that the Constitution has, in the first proviso to Article 275(1), a specific provision for promotion of welfare of Scheduled Tribes or raising the level of administration of Scheduled Areas with the help of funds to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India as grants-in-aid to the States. This provision has been sparingly used. Now that Panchayats in tribal areas are being conceived do novo, there is no reason why this provision should not be used for allocating to them finances for schemes of tribal development and administration of Scheduled Areas, both for plan and non plan purposes. It should be understood clearly, however, that recourse to this provision should not debar Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas from receiving other funds like under Articles 243H and 243I. Further, management and utilisation of financial resources assigned to the panchayats should be within the competence of these bodies. Funds may be received by the district councils directly from the Central and State governments and distributed among the lower-tier panchayats.
44. We have indicated above the source funds & financial mechanisms. We recommend that for the purposes of tribal development, welfare, administration etc., the funds from whatever source derived & linked to whatever mechanisms, should be placed in "charged" category as opposed to "voted" category. We understand that placement of funds in "charged" category enables certain advantages. For instance, it does not permit of diversion or use elsewhere, nor of reduction in quantum. Once the funds are placed in "charged" category in the budget, they remain intact and are available for only the purpose for which they were included in the budget. We make this suggestion as we have heard of a large number of examples which indicate that funds for tribal development even in the Tribal sub-plan were diverted or misused. We hope that by keeping the earmarked funds in "charged" class of budget, they will be used in a sacrosanct manner.
45. Further, in order to prevent wrong financial practices occurring in the Tribal sub-plan field, Tribal sub-plan funds (whether relating to State Plan or special central assistance or any other) pertaining to different sectors of development should be quantified and placed at the disposal of the autonomous district councils for distribution among the panchayats in the districts. Moreover, to the extent possible, the Central and State Governments should devise procedures for direct allotment of funds to the district autonomous councils.
46. Education and health have been regarded as very important sectors for Scheduled tribes. In fact, some tribal leaders and expert hold the view that education should be accorded primacy in prioritisation of different sectors in the development spectrum. Nevertheless, in actual practice, the two sectors have not been given their due. We feel that, in keeping with the felt needs, education and health sectors should be the first charge on the part of the Panchayats.
Appointment of Commission
47. Para 14 of the Sixth Schedule is to the effect that the Governor may, at any time appoint a commission to examine and report on any matter relating to the administration of autonomous district councils. The retention of such a provision for Scheduled Areas of the country will be useful. However, the chairman and members should be chosen carefully and representation should be given to Scheduled Tribes.
48. It should be provided that the autonomous district councils (Panchayats) being contemplated should review the existing laws for their relevance and applicability and take such action as is necessary for exclusion of those that are irrelevant and inclusion of those that are useful. The Governor of the State may issue a notification for the purpose to ensure that such review and action is completed within a stipulated period, say two years.
49. We find that the states have already passed legislations in pursuance of the 73rd Constitution Amendment Act. We understand that the provisions of those legislations apply to Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas also. We have in this report made recommendations for Scheduled Areas for consideration by the Parliament. The law as passed by the Parliament will be applicable to Scheduled Areas. Regulations could be framed under the Fifth Schedule by the Governor as and when necessary. Further, representatives may be chosen/elected to the Panchayat bodies on the basis contained in Parliament's law to be enacted. The existing administrative boundaries of blocks and districts should be readjusted to conform to the requirements of geographic, ethnic & tribal areas.
50. For scheduled Areas, we propose that a Gram Sabha may be conferred powers and functions as in Annexure 'A' herewith, the Gram Panchayat the powers and functions included in Annexure 'B', a Panchayat Samiti or Janpad Sabha the powers and functions referred to in Annexure 'C' and an Autonomous District council as in Annexure 'D'. The powers and functions relate to the fields of legislation, administration of justice, general administration, finance etc. We, however, envisage these as a first step.
51. We understand that some reservations have been expressed by certain Ministries in regard to certain provisions which we have suggested in this report, which may appear unconventional. They may be due to inadequate appreciation of the tribal situation and the constitutional scheme for creating a system which accords well with the tribal milieu. It may also be recalled that the Constitution envisages a structure for tribal areas (which includes Scheduled Areas) "notwithstanding anything in the Constitution."
52. We have dealt in this report with proposals and provisions that we think should apply to the Fifth Schedule Areas in the country as declared by the President under para 6 of that Schedule. Article 243M introduced by the Constitution Seventy-third Amendment Act 1992 covers also "tribal areas referred to in clause (2) of Article 244" These areas have been specified in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution as follows
PART — I
(1) The North Cachar Hills District
(2) The Karbi Anglong District
PART — II
(1) Khasi Hills District
(2) Jaintia Hills District
(3) The Garo Hills District
PART — II (A)
(1) Tripura Tribal Areas District
PART — III
(1) The Chakma District
(2) The Mara District
(3) The Lai District
We feel that the benefit of self-government at different tiers should be made available to these areas. In this report, we are not making any recommendations in detail in regard to the sub-district Panchayat organisations for these areas. We feel that this matter is better left to be considered separately. But, since we have examined the Sixth Schedule for the purpose of its applicability to the Fifth Schedule Areas and since we have already highlighted its advantages and shortcomings, we suggest that the framework of the Sixth Schedule be examined afresh in the light of our suggestions in the Annexure D. The amended framework in Annexure - D may be helpful for reformulation.
summary of Recommendations
1. The Committee has been called upon to suggest:
a) Steps for harmonization of Fifth, Sixth, Eleventh and Twelfth Schedules of the Constitution as they impinge upon the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
b) Salient features of the law that may be taken up or enactment by Parliament for extending the provisions of the Par IX of the Constitution to the Scheduled Areas referred to in clause (1) of Article 244 of the Constitution subject to such exemptions and modifications as may be necessary under Article 243 M(4) (b) : and
c) Variations and modifications in other articles relevant to the Fifth schedule Areas in order to strengthen institutions of local Government in Fifth Schedule Areas.
2. The Committee felt that while certain provisions of "The Constitution Seventy-Third Amendment Act, 1992 on the Panchayats" were wholesome and should be incorporated in the law to be passed by Parliament under Article 243M (4)(b), certain unique characteristics of tribal societies and tribal areas need to be kept in view. Important among them are that many tribal societies have had their own customary laws, traditional practices, community ethos, political and administrative systems etc. In considering the aforesaid law, their mode of living, organisation, cultural deprivation, marginalisation etc. would have to kept in focus. Since many tribal communities have been living autonomously cut off from the rest of the society, they have exercised control over and had access to natural resources moulding their institutions. Their Gram Sabhas and village councils have been vibrant institutions in the administrative, religious, political, economic, justice etc. fields. The Committee felt that while shaping the new Panchayati Raj structure in tribal areas, it is desirable to blend the traditional with the modern by treating the traditional institutions as the foundation on which the modern supra-structure should be built.
3. As per article 243M (4)(b) Parliament may, by extend the provisions of Para IX to Scheduled Areas and tribal areas covered by clause (1) and clause (2) respectively of Article 244 subject to such exemptions and modifications as may be specified in such law. Parliament may consider our recommendations for such legislation. The law passed by Parliament will be applicable to Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas to the supersession of corresponding provisions of any State law.
Objects and Reasons
4. Most of the tribal societies in India have been practising democracy, having been characterised by egalitarian spirit. Cognizance has to be taken of their indigenous institutions and ethos while considering democratic decentralisation in tribal areas.
4.1. Time-honoured customary usages and arrangements in tribal areas should be respected and allowed to continue. Traditional tribal conventions and laws should continue to hold validity. Harmonisation with the modern systems should be consistent therewith.
4.2. Panchayati Raj bodies in tribal areas should be made more effective and more participative in the context of the foregoing. More then in the past they have to function as institution of self-economic goals for removal of poverty, illiteracy, ill-health etc. among the people.
4.3. For attainment of the aforesaid goals flow of adequate funds has to be ensured . such funds should be utilised for the purpose they are set apart and should not be diverted. Suitable financial mechanism should be created for proper utilisation of funds.
4.4. Since the 1992 Act does not take into account the unique feature of tribal areas , we make recommendation as embodied in this report.
5 In drafting the law under Article 243M(4)(b), advantage should be taken of both Fifth and Sixth Schedule. The Fifth Schedule should be deemed as a board and powerful over-arching frame, serving as the fountain head of essential and beneficial legislation. The design and the content of the Sixth Schedule could serve as the relevant reference frame for a district within the broader canvas of the Fifth Schedule. However, ethnic regional and other related variation should be given due consideration. The Sixth Schedule should be regarded with such reformation and changes as are necessary, as a broad charter of autonomy at the district level and be adopted.
6 The Tribal advisory council, envisaged by the Fifth Schedule as a consultative body at the State level, needs to be reformed to make it an effective and functional organisation. The Chief Minister of the State should be its Chairman and its meeting should be held once every three months.
7 At the Centre, the Centre Advisory Council should be revived, serving the purpose of (a) a sounding board for tribal policies and programmes and (b) advice in disputes between a State Government and the Tribal Advisory Council or between a District Council and the tribal Advisory Council. Its advice should normally be binding The Welfare Minister, Home Minister, Rural Development Minister, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission etc.
8 Many of the present-day administrative boundaries were determined during colonia times. Notwithstanding changes, by and large, the earlier boundaries have stayed. Reorganisation of boundaries based on geographic, ethnic and demographic considerations may be considered and finalised within a couple of years.
9 The tribal societies are characterises by a communitarian and a cooperative spirit, visible in many undertakings like shifting cultivation, house construction. The potential of this ingrained attribute has not been taken advantage of so far. Cooperative organisations among tribals should be constituted suitable to their oral traditions and milieu.
10 It has been observed that in tribal areas the lower functionaries of departments like Police. Excise, Forest, Revenue have generally been acting against tribal interests and not unoften have even become repressive and exploitative. While their role in tribal areas is minimal, they tend to over-bear on the tribal and village communities. Hence, they should be assigned minimal role and should work under the control of concerned Panchayats.
11 The 1992 Act envisages a Panchayat at village level in addition to Panchayats at intermediate and district levels, as per Article 243B. The concept of a Panchayat at village level may fit in well for non-tribal areas, since villages there are generally large. But in tribal areas, with mostly hilly topography, the villages are usually scattered and population-wise small. These small villages or hamlets, are known as "Tolas" in some areas. But a small village or group of hamlets or habitations may have its own Gram Sabha. The Gram Sabhas should be allowed to exercise their customary traditional role unhindered. Further, a Gram Sabha may have a traditional village council which performs varied functions — religious, political, economic, judicial etc. —on its behalf. The Gram Sabha may nominate body and may delegate to it functions like execution of development works.
12 A number of hamlets aggregated may constitute a village panchayat, called variously a Gram Panchayat or Anchal or Parha or Pargana Panchayat. This tier corresponds to the lowest tier envisaged in the 1992 Act. Its members may be elected.
13 Constituencies may be delimited for election of members to the intermediate and district tier panchayats. The District level panchayat may be caled Autonomous District Council (ADC).
14 In certain districts, scheduled tribe population may be less then 50% of a district's total population, but it may be concentrated in a part or part of the district, say in some block or a sub-division or sub-divisions. We have recommended the sub-district councils may be constituted for such areas and designated as Autonomous Sub-District councils (ASDCs) ASDcs should be at par with ADCs. However, this may be regarded as an interim arrangement, pending reorganisation of administrative boundaries which we have recommended elsewhere.
15 So far as the organisational structure of an ADC is concerned, we recommend adoption of the broad frame-design of autonomous district councils contained in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in force in the State of Assam, Meghalaya, Mijoram and Tripura. The Sixth Schedule has been conceived to be an instrument of self-management and socio-economic development. it may not be too far wrong to say that, to an extent, it has fulfilled the ethnic aspirations of tribal communities. We have enumerated in this Report (Para 16) some shortcomings of the Sixth Schedule and these would need to be reformed. In addition, we feel that some scope should be opened up through setting apart seats (may be not exceeding 5 in number) for nomination in the district council of minority tribal communities, who cannot find place through election process. The nominations may be made in consultation with the Governor.
16 The 1992 Constitution Amendment Act provides for representation of Members of the House of People and Members of the Legislative Assembly of the State, representing constituencies which comprise wholly or partly a Panchayat area, at a level other then the village level. We recommended that Lok Sabha Scheduled Tribe MPs should be associated at the intermediate (Block) Panchayat and the District Council. But the representation should not be restricted to Scheduled Tribe MLAs and even non-ST MLAs should be associated in the two tiers.
17 Since the Schedules Areas and Tribal Areas are expected to have majority of tribal population, the different tier Panchayats therein should have a majority of Scheduled Tribe Members. Further, both the chairman and vice-chairman should belong to STs.
18 The Sixth Schedule confers power of legislation and administration of justice on the district council apart from the executive, developmental and financial responsibilities. We should adopt for districts in Scheduled Areas the Sixth Schedule format, but expand it to include subjects that are indicated in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.
19 The legislative power of the autonomous district councils in the Fifth Schedule Areas have been proposed more or less on the same lines as in the Sixth Schedule, with some amendments. In so far as administration of justice is concerted, the Committee has been emphatic that a traditional jury-based legal system evolved by tribal societies should be recognised and should be enabled to continue to function. There should be no police interference in case not involving non-heinous offences. Such, case should be under the domain of the Gram Sabha. In so far as development functions are concerned, this also ia a vital area, our proposal is that the functions enumerated in the Sixth Schedule as well as in the Eleventh Schedule should be discharged by the ADCs. We have given a list of such functions in Annexure 'D'.
20 In Article 243H, the sources of funds for Panchayats have been detailed. These should be applicable to Panchayats in Schedules Areas. While the Panchayat in these areas may receive funds as per articles 243H and 243I, funds as per the first proviso to article 275(1), should continue to be available normally.
21 For the purposes mentioned in the first proviso to Article 275 (1), funds received from sources other than the Panchayats own, should be placed in "charged" category in the respective governments' budgets as opposed to "voted" category. This will enable funds to remain fully available for purposes related to tribal interest, without fear of mis-utilisation or division.
22 In order to prevent wrong financial practices occurring in the Tribal sub-Plan field, the Tribal sub-plan funds (whether relating to State plan or special Central assistance or any other) pertaining to different sectors of development should be quantified and placed at the disposal of the Autonomous District Councils for distribution among the Panchayats in the district. Moreover, to the extent possible, the Central and State Government should devise procedures for direct allotment of funds to the Autonomous District Councils.
23 Education and health sectors should be the first charge on the funds received by a Panchayat in Schedules Areas and, notwithstanding any other provision, the Panchayat will have power to appropriate funds fom any other hesd for meeting this obligation.
24 All government servants and functionaries of institutions concerned with the functions of a Panchayat in a Scheduled Area and located within its jurisdiction will be under its control.
25. As per the provision in the Sixth Schedule, the Governor may appoint a commission to examine and report on all matters relating to the administration of autonomous district councils. Representation should be given to Schedules Tribes in The membership of the Commission.
26 The Tribal Advisory Councils and Autonomous District Councils in the Scheduled Areas should review necessary for exclusion of those that are relevant and inclusion of those that are useful. Such action should be completed within a stipulated period of about two years.
27 We understand that States have already passed legislation in pursuance of the Seventy-third and Seventy Fourth Constitution Amendment Acts and that the provisions of those laws apply to Schedule Areas also. The law passed by the Parliament will supersede such and any other related law.
28 The process of scheduling of tribal areas in the country commenced earlier has remained incomplete. It is necessary that the remaining Tribal sub-Plan and MADA areas as well as similar other pockets should be included in the Schedule Areas.
29 We have dealt in this report with proposals and provisions that we think should apply to the Fifth Schedule Areas in the country as declared by the President under para (6) of that Schedule. Article 243M of the 1992 Act covers, "tribal areas referred to in clause (2) of Article 244". We feel that the benefit of self-government at different tiers should be made available to these areas. We leave this matter to the judgement of the States concerned. But, since we have examined the Sixth Schedule, we suggest that the framework of that Schedule should be looked afresh in the north-eastern region in the light of our suggestions contained in Annexure D. The reformed framework in Annexure D may be helpful for reformulation.
30 We recommend for the Gram Sabha, Gram Panchayats, Intermediate Panchayats and Autonomous District Councils powers, functions and procedures enumerated respectively in Annexure A, B, C and D.

Annexure A
POWERS, FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES PROPOSED FOR GRAM SABHA IN TRIBAL AREAS
A
1. Safeguard of the rights of tribal individuals, tribal communities and Gram Sabhas in matters relating to land, water, forest and minor forest produce;
2. Enforcement of customary rights and nishtar over natural resources such as grazing, fuel, fodder, minor forest produce, building materials;
3. Powers to manage, regulate and use community land, water, air and forest (other than reserve forest);
4. Peoples mobilisation for community welfare programmes and organising voluntary labour for community works;
5. Arranging contributions in cash and kind for public purposes;
6. Promotion of solidarity and harmony among all sections of people irrespective of religion, faith, caste, creed or race;
7. Guide and advise the Gram Panchayats in regard to schemes for economic development and social justice;
8. Consideration of the budget and action plan of the gram Panchayat and preparation of report thereon;
9. Consideration of report on the audit of accounts of the gram Panchayat;
10. Preparation of the gram Sabha budget, annual and five-year plan programmes;
11. Laying down principles for identification and identification of schemes required to be taken up on priority basis for economic development;
12. Laying down principles for identification and identification of beneficiaries for poverty alleviation and other programmes;
13. Constitution of one or more beneficiary committees comprising not more than 9 persons for ensuring active participation of people in implementation, maintenance and equitable distribution of benefits of schemes in the area;
14. Arranging for cultivation of land laying unused and bringing wasteland under cultivation;
15. Women and child development;
16. Consideration of requisitions for land acquisition for purposes other than defence, railway, roads, education and health institutions and approval of schemes of rehabilitation acceptable to the affected persons. Implementation of the scheme of rehabilitation.
17. Drinking water supply;
18. Sanitation, conservancy and drainage;
19. Public health measures;
20. Village roads and streets;
21. Small tanks;
22. Maintenance of public properties and community assets;
23. Preservation and approval of all matters covering traditional practices, customs, usages and arrangements;
24. Execution of small works of development like drinking wells, irrigation wells, housing, village roads through agency or agencies as it deems appropriate;
25. Regulation of manufacture, sale and consumption of intoxicants.
26. Management of local institutions like schools, dispensaries, health sub-centres, anganwadis, cooperative stores and outlets, Hats.
27. Cognisance and adjudication of all civil disputes including debts and other liabilities and criminal offences not being heinous crimes like murder, dacoity;
28. Appointment of the village council and delegation to it of powers;
29. Regulation of money-lending and trading;
B
1. Not less than 5o% of the total number of members shall form a quorum for a meeting of gram Sabha. No quorum shall be necessary for an adjourned meeting, which will be held at the same time and place after seven days;
2. A meeting of the gram Sabha shall be presided over by the headman of the village or in his absence a member of the Sabha chosen by them;
3. All question coming before a gram Sabha shall be discussed and points raised therein shall be referred to the gram Panchayat for its consideration;
4. The proceedings of the meetings of the gram Sabha shall be recorded by such persons as may be authorised by the presiding Officer;
5. The Gram Sabha shall conduct its business through such traditional agencies or councils as customary. It may also set up executive committees like a village council for the transaction of business, execution of works etc;
6. The Gram Sabha shall hold its meetings as frequently as necessary, the frequency being not less than one meeting per month on a fixed date. At such meetings, it may record its objections to any action of Sarpanch/ Pradhan or any other member of the Gram Panchayat for failure to implement any development scheme properly or without active participation of the people.
C
1. All funds for discharge by the Gram Sabha of the aforesaid functions shall be provided to it by the concerned authorities;
2. The Gram Sabha shall ensure proper utilization and disbursement of funds to the concerned beneficiaries;
3. Education and health sectors shall be the first charge on the funds received by the Gram Sabha and, not withstanding any other provision, the Gram Sabha will have power to appropriate funds from any other head for meeting this obligation;
4. Certification of utilization of funds shall be the responsibility of the Gram Sabha.
D
1. All government servants and functionaries of other institutions concerned with the functions of the Gram Sabha and located within its jurisdiction will be under its control.

Annexure B
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES OF GRAM PANCHAYATS
A
1. A Gram Panchayat shall function as a unit of self-government and, in order to achieve economic development and secure social justice for all, shall, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed or such directions as may given by the ADC:
(a) prepare a development plan for the five-year term and revise and update it as and when necessary with regard to the resources available;
(b) prepare an annual plan for each year by the month of October of the preceding year for development of human resources, infrastructure and civic amenities in the area;
(c) implement schemes for economic development and social justice as may be drawn up by, or entrusted to it, and
(d) implement the enactments or decisions of ADC.
2. (a) The Gram Panchayat shall prepare in the prescribed manner a report of the work done during the previous year and the work proposed to be done during the following year and submit it to the prescribed authority and to the Panchayat Samitis concerned within the prescribed time;
(b) The Gram Panchayat shall, in October and April every year, prepare a half-yearly report showing the amount received by the Gram Panchayat during the previous half-year from different sources including the opening balance and the amount actually spent on different items of work and a list of beneficiaries. The report and the list shall be published immediately for preparation in the office of the Gram Panchayat for information of general public;
(c) The Gram Panchayat shall, as soon as may be, after the preparation of the report and the list, place the same in the meeting of Gram Sabhas for discussion and adoption with modifications, if any, and shall furnish copies of the report as modified to the prescribed authorities and the Panchayat Samiti by middle of January every year, and
(d) The Gram Panchayat shall guide and support the Gram Sabhas in such manner as may be necessary.
3. Without in any way affecting the functions of the Gram Sabha,the Gram Panchayat shall have powers to undertake schemes and shall adopt measures in respect of:
(a) Use of community lands, water, forest(other than reserve forest), air;
(b) Rural development programmes;
(c) Primary, social, adult or non-formal education;
(d) Rural dispensaries, health centres, maternity and child welfare centres;
(e) Agriculture including agricultural extension and fuel and fodder;
(f) Irrigation including minor irrigation, water management and watershed development;
(g) Improved breeding of cattle, medical treatment of cattle and prevention of cattle disease;
(h) Rural housing programme;
(i) Rural electrification including distribution of electricity;
(j) Non-conventional energy sources;
(k) Management of public ferry;
(l) Management of Hats, markets;
(m) Rehabilitation of displaced persons;
(n) Women and child development;
(o) Acting as a channel through which Governments assistance reaches villages; and
(p) Implementation of such schemes as may be formulated or performance of such acts as may be entrusted to the Gram Panchayat by the State Government; and
(q) Field publicity on matters connected with development works and other welfare measures taken by the State Government.
4. The duties and responsibilities of Gram Panchayat shall be:
(a) to provide within the area under its jurisdiction supply of drinking water cleansing and disinfecting source of supply and storage of water;
(b) sanitation, conservancy and drainage and prevention of public nuisance;
(c) maintenance, repair and construction of streets and protection thereof;
(d) Curative and preventive measures in respect of malaria, filarial, small-pox, plague or any other epidemic;
(e) Protection and repair of buildings or other properties vested in it;
(f) Management and care of public tanks, public toilets, crematoria and graveyards;
(g) Organising voluntary labour in community works;
(h) Imposition, assessment and collection of taxes, rates or fees to be levied;
(i) Construction and regulation of markets;
(j) Protection and encouragement of cottage industries and food processing industries;
(k) Promotion of dairy and poultry;
(l) Poverty alleviation programmes;
(m) Maintenance of community assets;
(n) Maintenance of public distribution system; and
(o) Fostering of endogenous institutions.
B
1. (a) Every Gram Panchayat shall hold a meeting at least once a month in the office of the Gram Panchayat. Such a meeting shall be held on such day and such hour as the Gram Panchayat may fix at the immediately preceding meeting. All meetings of Gram Panchayats shall be open meetings;
(b) The Sarpanch or the Pradhan or, in his absence, the Naib Sarpanch or Up-pradhan shall preside at the meeting of the Gram Panchayat. In the absence of both, the members present shall elect one of them to be the president of the meeting;
(c) One-third of the total number of members, subject to a minimum of three
members shall form a quorum for a meeting. Provided that no quorum shall be necessary for an adjourned meeting; and
(d) All questions coming before a Gram Panchayat shall be decided by a majority of votes. Provided that in case of equality of votes, the person presiding shall have a second or casting vote.
C
1. The Gram Panchayat shall hear appeals in respect of cases arising out of the Gram Sabha and, for the purpose, it will constitute a standing body of Panchas, including traditional leaders, held in esteem for their integrity. Their decision will be final.
2. The Gram Panchayat shall also hear and decide inter-village disputes.
D
1. All government servants and functionaries of other institutions concerned with the functions of the Gram Panchayat and located within its jurisdiction will be under its control.
2. Education and health sectors shall be the first charge on the funds of the Gram Panchayat and, not withstanding any other provisions, the Gram Panchayat will have power to appropriate funds from any other head for meeting this obligation.

Annexure C
POWERS, FUNCTION AND PROCEDURES OF INTERMEDIATE
PANCHAYATS
1. An Intermediate Panchayat shall function as a unit of self-government and, in order to achieve economic development and secure social justice for all shall, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed or directions as may be given by the ADC
(a) prepare a five-year development plan and revise and update it as when necessary with reference to the resources available
(b) Prepare an annual plan for each year by the month of January of the preceding year for development of human resources, socio-economic advancement of the community, provision or reinforcement of the infrastructure, attention to civic amenities in the area etc;
(c) Arrange to have the plans, programmes and schemes included in the five year and annual plans implemented through the concerned agencies;
(d) Comply with the decisions and enactments of ADC; and
(e)Examine and sanction the budget estimates of Gram Panchayats in its jurisdiction.
2. The intermediate Panchayat shall prepare in the prescribed manner a report on the work done during the previous year and the work proposed to be done during the following year and submit it to the prescribed authority, the Gram Panchayats within its jurisdiction and the ADC concerned, within the prescribed time;
3. A Panchayat Samiti shall have the following powers and functions
(a) Foster tribal endogenous institutions;
(b) Coordinate and integrate the development plans and schemes prepared by the Gram Panchayats in the block, with particular reference to the resource-potential of the area, the skills, aptitude and occupations of the people and availability of funds;
(c) Ensure compliance with the principal and contents of tribal sub-plan;
(d) Supervise and ensure proper functioning of Hats and tribal cooperatives(LAMPS or by other name called);
(e) Manage forest and forest resources including minor forest produce;
(f) Undertakes schemes or adopt measures, including the giving of financial assistance relating to development of agriculture, fisheries, live-stock, khadi, cottage and small-scale industries, co-operative movement, rural credit, water-supply, irrigation and minor irrigation including water management and watershed development, public health and sanitation including establishment and maintenance of dispensaries and hospitals, communication, primary and secondary education, adult and non-formal education, welfare of students, social forestry and farm forestry including fuel and fodder, rural electrification including distribution, non-conventional energy sources, women and child development, social welfare and other objects of general public utility;
(g) Manage or maintain any work of public utility or any institution vested in it or under its control and management;
(h) Make grants-in-aid of any school, public institution or public welfare organization within the Block;
(i) Adopt measures for relief of distress;
(j) Undertake execution of any scheme, perfomanance of any act, or management of any institution or organization entrusted to it by the state government or any other authority;
(k) Contribute such sum or sums as it may decide, towards the cost of water-supply or anti-epidemic measures undertaken by a municipality within the Block;
(l) Make grants to the District Council or Gram Panchayats.
4. A scheme shall normally be executed by the Gram Panchayat which has jurisdiction, unless the Panchayat Samiti and/or Gram Panchayat are of the opinion that implementation of such a scheme is beyond its competence, financially or otherwise and a resolution or resolutions are passed to that effect. In the latter case, the Intermediate Panchayat may execute the scheme itself or entrust its execution to the Gram Panchayat and give such assistance as may be required.
5. An Intermediate Panchayat may undertake or execute a scheme if it extends to more than one Gram Panchayat.
6. An Intermediate Panchayat shall exercise general power of supervision and control over Gram Panchayats in the block and it shall be the duty of the concerned authorities to give effect to the directions of the Panchayat Samiti.
B
1. An Intermediate Panchayat shall hold a meeting in its office at least once every three months on such date and such hour as the Panchayat may fix at the immediately preceding meeting.
2. One-fourth of the total number of members shall form a quorum for a meeting. Provided that no quorum shall be necessary for an adjourned meeting.
3. All questions coming up before Intermediate Panchayat shall be decided by a majority of votes. Provided that in case of equality of votes, the person presiding shall have second or casting vote.
4. An Intermediate Panchayat may set up Working Committees to look after different aspects like planning, finance, agriculture, cooperation, land reforms, education, small industry and electrification.
5. (a) An Intermediate Panchayat shall, at such time and in such manner as mey be prescribes, prepare in each year a Budget of its estimated receipts and disbursements for the following year and submit to the ADC having jurisdiction;
6. The District Council may, within such time as may be prescribes, either approve the budget or return it to the Intermediate Panchayat for such modification as it may direct. On such modifications being made, the budget shall be re-submitted within such time as may be prescribes for the approval of the Council. If the approval of the Council is not received by the Panchayat Samiti by the last date of the year, the Budget shall be deemed to have been approved by the Council.
C
1. Panchayat Samiti shall hear appeals in respect of inter-village disputes and its decision shall be final.
D
1. All government servants and functionaries of other institutions concerned with the functions of the Panchayat Samiti and located within its jurisdiction will be under its control.
2. Education and health sectors shall be the first charge on the funds of the Panchayat Samiti and, notwithstanding any other provision, the Panchayat Samiti will have the power to appropriate funds from any other head for meeting this obligation.

Annexure - D
POWER FUNCTIONS AND PROCEDURES AND PROPOSED FOR AUTONOMUS DISTRICT COUNCIL
Consistent with the powers and function conferred on Gram Sabha. Gram Panchayat and Intermediate panchayat representative in Annexure A,B,C, the District Autonomous Councils will have powers and functions enumerated hereunder.
A. Legislative
1. (a) Allotment, occupation or use or setting apart of land other than which is reserved forest for the purpose of agriculture or grazing or for residential or other non- agriculture purpose or for any other purpose likely to promote the interest of inhabitants of any village or town. Provided that nothing in such laws shall prevent the acquisitions of any land, whether occupied or unoccupied, for the purpose of defence, railways, roads educational and health institutions by the government of the state concerned in accordance with the law for the time being in force authorising such acquisition;
(b) Management of any forest not being a reserved forest.
(c) The use of any canal or water course of agriculture
(d) The regulation of the practise of Jhum or other form of shifting cultivation
(e) The establishment of town committees or the councils and their power
(f) Any other matter relating to town administration including town police and public health and sanitation
(g) The appointment or succession of chief or headmen
(h) Inheritance of property
(i) Marriage and divorce
(j) Social customs
(k) Co-operatives
2. Regulation and control of money lending or trading within the district by he person residing in the area. Such a regulation may :
a. prescribe that no one expect the holder of a licence issued in his behalf shall carry on the business of money lending.
b. Prescribe the maximum rate of interest which may be charged or recovered by the money –lender
c. Provided for the maintenance of accounts by the money lender and for the inspection of such accounts by the officers authorised by ADC,
d. Prescribe that no non resident of the district shall carry on any trade, whether whole sale or retail , except under the valid license issued by ADC.
3. Excise policy like enforcing prohibition or regulating or restricting the sale and consumption of any intoxicant
4. All laws made under this paragraph shall be submitted forthwith to the Governor and until, assented to by him, shall have no effects.
5. No. act of the legislature of the state in which an ADC is located in the respect of any of the matters specified in item 1 above as matter with respect to which ADC may make laws shall apply to the autonomous districts unless the Districts Council for that district by public notification so directs, and the Districts Council in giving such direction with respect to any act may direct that the act shall , in its application to that district have effects subject to such expectation of modification as it think fit.
6. (a) If, at any time the Governor is satisfied that an Act or the resolution of a District Council is likely to be endanger the safety of India or it is likely to be prejudicial to public order , he may annul or suspend such Act or resolution and take such steps as he may consider necessary ( including suspension of the council and the assumption of all any of the power vested in the exercisable by the Council) to prevent commission or continuance of such Act or coming into effect of such resolution.
(b) Any order made by the Governor in clause (a) above together with the reasons there of shall be laid before the Legislature of the State as soon as possible and the order shall, unless revoked by him continue in force for a period of twelve months from the date of the on which it was made
Provided that if and often as the resolution approving the continuance in force of such order is passed by the Legislature of the state , the order shall, unless cancelled by the Governor, continue in force for a further a period of twelve months from the date on which it would otherwise ceased to operate.
7. The Laws, rules and regulation made by the district council shall be published forthwith in the official Gazette of the state and shall on such publication have the force of the law.
B Administration of Justice
1. An Autonomus District Council (ADC) may constitute, to the exclusion of any court in the State, court or courts comprising a jury and a law officer, for trial of suits and cases other than those which are within the jurisdiction of the Gram Sabha and those which the Governor may specify.
The council may appoint suitable persons as presiding officers of such courts. They may also appoint officers necessary for administration of laws made in accordance with the legislative powers of ADC.
2. The District Council may appoint a court of appeal in respect of suits and cases triable by courts referred to in the preceding paragraph.
3. The High Court shall exercise such jurisdiction over the suits and cases mentioned in the foregoing as the Governor may, from time to time, by order specify.
4. The District Council may, with the previous approval of the Governor, make rules regulating (a) constitution of courts and appellate courts and the powers to be exercised by them, (b) the procedure to be followed by such courts in trial of suits and cases; (c) enforcement of decisions and orders of such courts; (d) any ancillary matter.
5. The Governor may, for trial of suits or cases arising out of any law in force in an autonomous district or for trial of offences punishable with death, transportation for life or imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years under the India Penal Code or any other law applicable, confer on a court constituted by the district council, such powers under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 or the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 as he deems appropriate.
C. EXECUTIVE
1. The District Council may, in general exercise all function in the executive field which flow from legislative powers enumerated in the section A above.
2. Matters relating to rights of tribals over land, water , forest ( including minor forest produce), air etc. shall be within its jurisdiction.
3. An Autonomous District Council shall function as a unit of self government and, in order to achieve the economic development and secure social justice foe all shall prepare:
a. A development plan foe 5 year term.
b. An annual plan for each year by the month of January of the preceding year in the furtherance of its objectives of development of community as a whole and socio-economic upliftment of the individaual member of the community.
4. The ADC shall have the power to advise the State Government on all matters relating to the development work among the Gram Panchayats and Intermediate Panchayats.
5. It shall have powers to :
(i) undertake schemes or adopt measures including the giving of financial assistance relating to the development of the of agriculture, fisheries, livestock, khadi, cottage and small scale industries , co–operative movement rural development, water supply, irrigation and minor irrigation including the water management and watershed development public health and sanitation including establishment and maintenance of hospitals, communication, primary and secondary education ,adult and non-formal education, physical education and games and sports, welfare of students, social forestry and farm forestry including the fuel and fodder, rural electrification including the distribution, non-conventional energy sources , women and child development, social welfare and other objects of general public utility.
(ii) Undertake execution of any scheme, performance of any act, or management oa any institution or organisation entrusted to it by the State Government or any other authority.
(iii) Manage or maintain any work of public utility or any institution vested in it or under its control and management.
(iv) Make grants to intermediate panchayats and gram Panchayats
(v) Co- ordinate and integrated the development plans and schemes prepared by the Intermediate Panchayats in the districts.
(vi) Examine and sanction the budget estimates of intermediate Panchayats in the districts.
(vii) Adopt measures for the relief of distress.
6. An ADC shall not undertake or execute any of the scheme confined to a block unless the implementation of such scheme is beyond the competence of the Intermediate Panchayats concerned financially or otherwise. But an ADC may undertake to execute any scheme if it extend to more than one block.
7. It may constitute sufficient number of Standing Committees for the consideration of proposals and implementation of schemes under specific programmes.
D Financial
1. The District Council shall have the authority to frame its budget in respect of all receipts and expenditure. In doing so, it shall observe all the budgetary procedures.
2. All funds receivable by an ADC from the central or the State Government shall be placed in the charged category in the respect of the budget of the central and the State Government.
3. The estimated receipts and the expenditure pertaining to an autonomous districts which are to be credited to, or to be made from the consolidated fund of the state shall be first placed before the district council for the discussion and then after such discussion be shown separately in annual financial statement of the State to be laid before the legislature of the State under the Article 202
4. Consolidated District Funds
a. There shall be constituted for each autonomous districts, Consolidated District Funds to Which shall be credited all money received respectively by the District Council for that district in course of administration of such district in accordance with the provision of this constitution.
b. Education Consolidated Fund and , now withstanding any other provision , the ADC will have the power to appropriate funds from any other head for meeting this obligation.
c. The governor may make rule for the management of the Consolidated District Funds and for the procedure to be followed in respect of the payment of money into the said fund, the withdrawal of money there from the custody of money there in the any other matter connected with or ancillary to the matter aforesaid
d. The accountants of the Districts Council shall be kept in such form as the Comptroller and Auditor - General of India may, with the approval of the President, prescribe, and
e. The Comptroller and Auditor - General shall cause the accounts of the district to be audited in such manner as he may think fit, and the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor - General relating to such accounts shall be submitted to the Governor who shall cause them to be laid before the Council
5. Powers to assess and collect land revenue and to impose taxes —
a. The District Council for an autonomous district in respect of all lands within the district shall have the power to assess and collect revenue in respect of such lands in accordance with the principles for the time being followed;
b. The District Council for an autonomous district in respect of all areas in the district shall have power to levy and collect taxes on lands and buildings, and tolls on persons resident within such areas;
c. The District Council for an autonomous district shall have the power to levy and collect all or any of the following taxes within such district, that is to say
i. taxes on professions, trades, callings and employments
ii. taxes on animals, vehicles and boats
iii. taxes on the entry of goods into a market for sale therein, and tolls on passengers and goods carried in ferries
iv. taxes for the maintenance of schools, dispensaries or roads.
d. District Council may make regulations to provide for the levy and collection of any of the taxes and every such regulation shall be submitted forthwith to the Governor and until assented to by him, shall have no effect.
6. Licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for, or extraction of, minerals.
a. Such share of the royalties accruing each year from licences or leases for the purpose of prospecting for, or the extraction of, minerals granted in respect of any area within an autonomous district as may be agreed upon between the Government of the State and the District Council of such district shall be made over to that District council.
b. If any dispute arises as to the share of such royaltiesto be made over to a District Council, it shall be referred to the Governor for determination and the amount determined by the Governor in his discretion shall be deemed to be amount payable under sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph to the District Council and the decision of the Governor shall be final.
7. General
1. The Governor may on the recommendation of a Commission appointed in this behalf by public notification order the dissolution of a District and
a. Direct that a fresh election shall be held immediately for the reconstitution of the Council, or
b. subject to the previous approval of the Legislature of the State assume the administration of the area under the authority of such Council himself or place the administration of such area under the Commission appointed or any other body considered suitable by him for a period not exceeding six months;
Provided that when an order under clause (a) of this paragraph has been made, the Governor may take the action referred to in clause (b) of this paragrah with regard to the administration of the area in question pending the reconstitution of the council on fresh general election.
Provided further that no action shall be taken under clause (b) of this paragraph without giving the District Council an opportunity of placing its views before the Legislature of the State.
2. If, at any time, the Governor is satisfied that a situation has arisen in which the administration of an autonomous district cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, he may, by public notification, assume to himself all or any of the functions or powers vested in or exercisable by the district Council and declare that such functions or powers shall be exercisable by such person or authority as he may specify in his behalf, for a period not exceeding six months.
Provided that the Governor may by a further order or orders extend the operation of the initial order by a period not exceeding six months on each occasion.
3. Every order made under sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph with the reasons therefore shall be laid before the Legislature of the State and shall cease to operate at the expiration of thirty days from the date on which the State Legislature first sits after the issue of the order, unless, before the expiry of that period, it has been approved by the State Legislature.
4. Election to constitute an ADC shall be completed before the expiry of its normal duration of five years or before the expiration of a period of six months from the date of its dissolution. Provided that where the remainder of the period for which a dissolved Panchayat would have continued is less than six months, it shall not be necessary to hold any election under this clause for constituting it for such a period.
5. The Governor may at any time appoint a Commission to examine and report on any matter specified by him relating to the administration of autonomous districts. Such a Commission should have due representation of Scheduled Tribe Members on it.

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