The Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill 2019

The Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill 2019, having been passed by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab on April 30, 2019, and assented to by the Governor of the Punjab on May 3, 2019, is hereby published as an Act of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. Summary is as under:

Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill 2019

THE PUNJAB VILLAGE PANCHAYATS AND NEIGHBOURHOOD COUNCILS ACT 2019 ACT XIV OF 2019 [First published, after having received the assent of the Governor of the Punjab, in the Gazette of the Punjab (Extraordinary) dated May 4, 2019.] An Act to institutionalize and strengthen civic engagement for non-political action in the Punjab through constitution of village Panchayats and urban neighbourhood councils Whereas it is expedient to institutionalize and strengthen civic engagement for non-political action in the Punjab through constitution of village Panchayats and urban neighbourhood councils, and to provide for the matters connected therewith and ancillary thereto; Be it enacted by Provincial Assembly of the Punjab as follows:- Chapter I – Applicability and Interpretation 1. Short title, extent and commencement.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Act, 2019. (2) It extends to the whole of the Punjab other than the areas notified as cantonments under the Cantonments Act, 1924 (Act II of 1924), or the Cantonments Ordinance, 2002 (CXXXVII of 2002), in relation to the matters covered there under. (3) It shall come into force at once. 2 2. Interpretation.— In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context:- (a) ‘Assistant’ means an official of the Panchayat or, as the case may be, a neighbourhood council engaged in the prescribed manner; (b) ‘Board’ means a Local Board established under section 65 of this Act; (c) ‘candidate’ means a candidate for elections under this Act; (d) ‘cantonment’ means place or places declared and notified as cantonment under the Cantonments Act, 1924 (II of 1924) or the Cantonments Ordinance, 2002 (CXXXVII of 2002) by the Government of Pakistan; (e) ‘census’ means the population and housing census taken by the Government of Pakistan under the Census Ordinance, 1959 (X of 1959); (f) ‘chairperson’ means the chairperson of a panchayat or, as the case may be, a neighbourhood council; (g) ‘common assembly’ means a meeting of residents of the village or, as the case may be, of the neighbourhood; (h) ‘corrupt practice’ means involvement of a chairperson, member or assistant in corruption and includes any of the following: (i) coercive practice by impairing or harming, or threatening to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or the property of the party to influence the actions of a party to achieve a wrongful gain or to cause a wrongful loss to another party; (ii) collusive practice by arrangement between two or more parties to the procurement process or contract execution, designed to achieve with or without the knowledge of the procuring agency to establish prices at artificial, non-competitive levels for any wrongful gain; (iii) offering, giving, receiving or soliciting, directly or indirectly, of anything of value to influence the acts of another party for wrongful gain; (iv) any act or omission, including a misrepresentation, that knowingly or recklessly misleads, or attempts to mislead, a party to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation; (v) obstructive practice by harming or threatening to harm, directly or indirectly, persons or their property to influence their participation in a procurement process, or affect the execution of a contract or deliberately destroying, falsifying, altering or concealing of evidence material to the investigation or making false statements before investigators in order to materially impede an investigation into allegations of a corrupt, fraudulent, coercive or collusive practice; or threatening, harassing or intimidating any party to prevent it from disclosing its knowledge of matters relevant to the investigation or from pursuing the investigation, or acts intended to materially impede the exercise of inspection and audit process. (i) ‘corruption’ by a chairperson, member, assistant or any other person acting under this Act means: (i) accepting, obtaining or offering any gratification or valuable thing, directly or indirectly, other than the legal remuneration, as a reward for doing or for bearing to do any official act; or (ii) dishonestly or fraudulently misappropriating, or indulging in embezzlement or misuse of property or resources of a local government; or (iii) possession of pecuniary sources or 3 (vi) entering into plea bargain under any law for the time being in force and return the assets or gains acquired through corruption or corrupt practices, voluntarily; (j) ‘designated officer’ means an officer appointed as a designated officer under section 81of this Act; (k) ‘Election Commission’’ means the Election Commission of Pakistan established under Article 218 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; (l) ‘estate’ means an estate as defined in clause (9) of section 4 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1967 (XVII of 1967); (m) ‘extra-ordinary meeting’ means a meeting of common assembly, panchayat or, as the case may be, neighbourhood council other than a general meeting; (n) ‘general meeting’ with respect to a common assembly means the meeting referred to in subsection (1) of section 7 of this Act and with respect to a panchayat or, as the case may be, a neighbourhood council means a meeting referred to in subsection (1) of section 13 of this Act; (o) ‘Government’ means the Government of the Punjab; (p) ‘High Court’ means Lahore High Court, Lahore; (q) ‘local fund’ means a local fund of a panchayat or neighbourhood council established under section 38 of this Act; (r) ‘local government’ means a local government established under the Punjab Local Government Act, 2019; (s) ‘local official’ means a head-teacher, patwari, forest guard, police constable, chaukidar, vaccinator, health worker, canal overseer, or any other class of public servants for the time being serving the village, or as the case may be, neighbourhood as notified by the Secretary; (t) ‘member’ means the member of a panchayat or, as the case may be, a neighbourhood council; (u) ‘misconduct’ means misconduct in terms of section 59 of this Act; (v) ‘Municipal Magistrate’ means a Special Judicial Magistrate appointed under section 80 of this Act; (w) ‘neighbourhood council’ means a neighbourhood council constituted under section10 of this Act; (x) ‘neighbourhood’ means an area comprising a distinct and compact inhabitation or a group of two or more contiguous, distinct and compact inhabitations and notified as such under section 10 of this Act; (y) ‘panchayat’ means a panchayat constituted under section 10 of this Act; (z) ‘prescribed’ means prescribed by rules made by the Government under this Act; (aa) ‘public servant’ means a public servant as defined in section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 (XIV of 1860); (bb) ‘resident’ of a village or, as the case may be, of a neighbourhood shall mean a person who: (i) is, for the time being, a citizen of Pakistan; (ii) ordinarily resides in the respective village, or as the case may be, in the respective neighbourhood; (iii) has attained the age of eighteen years on first January of the corresponding calendar year; and (iv) has not been declared to be of unsound mind or an undischarged solvent by a competent court; (cc) ‘Secretary’ means Secretary within the meanings of the Punjab Government Rules of Business, 2011 in charge of Local Government and Community Development Department; and (dd) ’village’ means the area comprising an estate. (2) In this Act, the expressions ‘Metropolitan Corporation’, ‘Municipal Corporation’, ‘Municipal Committee’, and ‘’Town Committee’’ shall have the same meanings as given in the Punjab Local Government Act 2019.

Further details are available at the copy of the bill in PDF Format. Special thanks to Mr. Naseer Hussain for sensing the copy of The Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill 2019.

Punjab Village Panchayats and Neighbourhood Councils Bill 2019

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