The Karnataka Panchayati Raj Act 1993 provides for the Taluk Panchayat for each Taluk as the middle tier of the Panchayati Raj Institutions. There are 175 Taluk Panchayats in Karnataka State. This intermediate body existed with different nomenclature and position since 1960. In 1959 Act, it was called as Taluk Development Board with elected members and having indirectly elected President and Vice – President. And it was made as the center of the Development with so many supervisory powers over the Grama Panchayats. In 1983 Act it was renamed as Taluk Panchayat Samiti with co- ordinatory and advisory functions consists of members of State Legislature and members of Parliament representing a part or whole of the Taluk, the Pradhans of all Mandal Panchayats of the Taluk, President of all Taluka Agricultural Produce Co-operative marketing society, President of Land development Produce Co-operative marketing society, President of Land Development bank, 18% SC and ST members and women co-opted members, the sitting member of the Legislative Assembly representing the major part of the Taluk as the Chairman.
The Taluka Panchayat of the present Act consists of elected members and ex-officio members.
Elected members shall be not less than 11 for the Taluk having a population of not exceeding one lakh or one member for every ten thousand populations or part thereof of the Taluk.
- The members of house of people and State Legislative Assembly representing a part or whole of the Taluk.
- The members of the council of states and the legislative council who are registered as electors within the Taluk.
- 1/5th of the Adhyaksha of the Grama Panchayats in the Taluk by rotation for a period of one year as the Assistant Commissioner may determine by lot.
Reservation of seats like other Panchayat bodies the Act provides for the reservation of seats to the elected members at the rate of -
- Not less than 15% for SC.
- Not less than 3% for ST.
- 1/3 of the seats for the other backward classes and not less than 1/3 of the seats in each reservation category and even in unreserved category should be reserved for the women‟s of the respective categories. Reservations shall be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in each general election in Taluk. And there is no bar for the reserved category people to contest in the unreserved category.
The elected member of the Taluk panchayat shall choose two members amongst them one as Adhyaksha and the other one as Upadhyaksha. The Adhyaksha and Upadhyaksha posts are also subject to the reservation at the rate of :
- Not less than 15% for SC.
- Not less than 3% for ST.
- Not less than 1/3 of the posts for the other backward classes and 1/3 of the posts in each category are reserved even including unreserved category are reserved for the women of the respective categories.
The reservation shall be allotted by rotation to different Taluk Panchayat.
The Term of office: The Adhyaksha and Upadhyaksha shall hold office for the term of 20 months or up to their membership, whichever is earlier. They can be also removed by no confidence motion passed by the majority of the total elected members.
The Adhyaksha of the Taluk Panchayat shall :
- Convene, preside at and conduct meetings of the Taluk Panchayat.
- Exercise supervision and control over the Executive Officer for securing implementation of resolutions or decisions of the Taluk Panchayat or of the standing committees which are not in consistent with the provisions of this Act or any general and specific directions issued under this Act.
- Exercise over all supervisions over the Financial and Executive Administration of the Taluk Panchayat and to place the subjects before the Taluk Panchayat.
- Have the power to accord sanction up to a total sum of Rs. 25,000/- in a year to meet the expenses of natural calamities in the Taluk.
- Discharge all duties imposed and exercise all the powers on him under this Act and functions entrusted to him by the Government from time to time.
Upadhyaksha exercises all the powers and perform the duties of the Adhyaksha when the Adhyaksha is absent on leave or he is incapacitated from the functioning.
- General Standing Committee: Concerned with establishment matters, communications, building rural housing, village extensions, relief against natural calamities, water supply and all miscellaneous residuary matters.
- The Finance, Audit and Planning Committee: Concerned to the finance of the Taluk Panchayat, framing of budgets, scrutinizing proposals for the increase of revenue, examinations of receipts and expenditure statement, considerations of all proposals attracting the Finance of the Taluk Panchayat and General Supervision of the Revenue and Expenditure of the Taluk Panchayat and Co-operation, small savings scheme and any other function relating to the development plan of the Taluk.
- Social Juctice Committee – Concerned to:
- Promotion of education, economic, social, cultural and other interest of the SC and ST and Back ward classes.
- Protecting them from social injustices and all other forms of exploitation.
- Amelioration of SC, ST and other Backward Classes.
- Securing social justice to the SC, ST, women and other weaker sections of the society.
Each standing Committee shall consist of not more than six members including the chairman. They shall be elected by the members of the Taluk Panchayat from among the elected members. The Adhyaksha shall be the Ex- officio member and also chairman of the General Standing Committee and the Finance, Audit and Planning Committees. The Upadhyaksha shall be the Ex- officio member and also chairman of the Social Justice Committee. The Executive Officer shall be the Ex-officio secretary of every Standing Committee.
Every Taluk Panchayat shall have a body of officials. The official head of the Taluk Panchayat is the Executive Officer who shall be equal to the rank of Assistant Commissioner. The Executive Officer and all other Official Staff shall be appointed by the Government. Government may make transfer of the staff either within the Taluk or outside the Taluk and may take disciplinary actions for their misconduct.The Executive Officer shall perform the following functions:
- Exercise all the powers specifically imposed or conferred upon him by or under the Karnataka Panchayati Raj Act 1993 or under any law for the time being in force.
- Lay down the duties of and supervise and control officers and officials of or holding office under the Taluk Panchayat in accordance with the rules made by the government.
- Supervise and Control the execution of all works of the Taluk Panchayat.
- Take necessary measures for the speedy execution of all works and developmental schemes of the Taluk Panchayat.
- Have custody of all papers and documents connected with the proceedings of the meetings of the Taluk Panchayat and its committees.
- Draw and disburse money out of the Taluk Panchayat fund and other powers and functions as may be prescribed.
The Executive Officer shall attend every meeting of the Taluk Panchayat and its sub committees ad have the right to take part in the discussion but shall not have the power to vote or to move the resolutions. He shall advice the rules, regulations and legality of any actions of the Taluk Panchayat. The Executive Officer shall every proceeding of the Taluk Panchayat and its sub committees to the Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner with his observations.
The Executive Officer shall have the right to call money‟s accounts records or other property pertaining to Grama Panchayat or Taluk Panchayat. And he shall exercise some magisterial powers with regard to the recovery of accounts records or the property to Gram Panchayat or Taluk Panchayat and may issue search warrant or any other lawful actions.