Mumbai, May 26: The Bombay High Court bench of Justice Chandrakant Bhadang last week upheld the orders of a lower court setting aside the election of a Shiv Sena corporator from Solapur Municipal Corporation (SMC) for having more than two children.
The bench was seized with a plea filed by one Anita Magar, who was declared elected from Ward No. 11 (C) of Solapur city. She bagged the highest 4,955 votes and was declared elected in the local body polls held in 2017.
However, the runner up - Bhagyalakshmi Mahanta, who received 3,422 votes in all, moved a civil court in Solapur claiming that Magar did not disclose the fact that she has three children. This, Mahanta claimed was in violation of the guidelines issued by the Election Commission in 2001. She further claimed that Magar's victory was in breach of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act.
Notably, the guidelines as well as the law allow disqualification of a candidate if s/he has more than two children.
In her defence, Magar claimed that the third child was not born to her and instead was the daughter of her husband's younger brother. She claimed that there was an "inadvertent" error on part of the hospital where the third child was born as it by mistakenly entered her (Magar) and her husband's name as parents.
Magar further pointed out that the mistake was rectified and now the birth certificate of the girl child bears the name of her brother-in-law as the parent of the child.
However, Justice Bhadang in his orders noted that the correction was made in 2012 just before Magar's husband was to contest the civic polls then.
"There is also no material placed on record in the form of a paternity test of the child in question. There is also no other documentary evidence made available to show that the child isn't the biological daughter of applicant (Magar)," Justice Bhadang opined.
The judge accordingly dismissed the petition while upholding the orders of a civil court saying that there isn't any wrong in that verdict.