Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court recently imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on a deputy sarpanch at Paithan district, for not accepting one of his own daughters and misleading the court. The deputy sarpanch had refused to accept his fourth child, as he wanted to contest elections without being disqualified.
A single-judge bench of Justice Ravindra Ghuge, fined deputy sarpanch Munaf Shaikh and his brother Minaj Shaikh for misleading and defrauding the court and risking the minor girl’s future.
Justice Ghuge said, “Since Munaf and Minaj have been parties to the fraud being played upon this court and the government and have put the future of the girl child at stake, they shall jointly pay costs of Rs.5 lakh, on or before July 31.”
The cost was imposed on the Shaikh brothers as Munaf, whose election to the post of deputy sarpanch was challenged, had filed an affidavit before Justice Ghuge’s bench that he has only three children, not four. He had claimed in the affidavit, that the girl in question, born in 2006, was his brother Minaj’s daughter.
Munaf had claimed so to avoid disqualification since had he acknowledged the existence of his fourth daughter, he could be removed from the post according to the government rule, which bars people with more than two children after November 2001 from contesting polls.
Munaf already has two children, born in 2001 and 2004. However, this girl, the fourth child, was born in August 2006.
In a bid to dodge the rule, Munaf told the bench of Justice Ghuge, in an affidavit that the girl was his brother’s biological daughter. However, in a twist to the case, Minaj filed another affidavit informing the court that the girl was not his daughter.
“The origin of this mischief is not the present elections but it is a specific pre-planned strategy of both the brothers to register the birth of the girl child as the daughter of Minaj. The political aspirations cherished by Munaf, are the root cause for falsely registering the birth of the girl child. The brother Minaj, who was a party to all this mischief, has now disassociated himself with Munaf, only after realising that the arm of the law would apprehend him,” Justice Ghuge noted.
Accordingly, Justice Ghuge directed the Shaikh brothers to pay the fine of Rs. 5 lakh together, before July 31.