Recently, the Bombay High Court slapped a Rs 1 lakh fine on a politician who lied to the court about the number of children she had in order to bypass a two-child policy enforced in Maharashtra for contesting regional elections. In 2017, the District Collector disqualified the petitioner politician for having more than two children, and her third child was discovered to be born after September 13, 2000.
It was on this date that a two-child limit was implemented for people contesting elections in Maharashtra with prospective effect. The policy excluded individuals from contesting panchayat, block level, county level, and municipal elections with more than two children born after the cut-off date. Before that, applicants could have any number of children.
Due to her disqualification in 2017, the petitioner submitted a writ petition, which was rejected by the High Court's Aurangabad Bench. Subsequently, she lodged an application for review with the Additional Divisional Commissioner (ADC), Aurangabad, who accepted the same and submitted it to the District Collector. The petitioner had already suppressed several facts at this point, according to the Bombay High Court. The politician had stated that her husband had a second wife, who had been missing. However, the District Collector found that there is no such human being as the petitioner could not establish his presence. The ADC declined to accept the petitioner's appeal, after which she made another plea before the Bombay High Court. The petitioner-politician also lied to the Court at this juncture that a fourth child, born after the cut-off date, was born out of a relationship between her husband and his mysterious second wife.
However, the Court discovered that these claims were made only so that disqualification could be avoided by the petitioner, and termed the same as mischief and increasing concern about political candidates' misrepresentation of facts. When the Court scrutinized the case records, it also noted several discrepancies, particularly in view of the petitioner's submissions regarding her children. The Court further noted earlier submissions denoting the couple's willingness to undergo a DNA test had not been included in the couple's additional affidavit.
The Bench has ordered that half the sum be transferred to a government cancer hospital in Aurangabad for the diagnosis of needy patients. The Court also affirmed that the petitioner and her husband would be disqualified from contesting any election that attracts disqualification for having more than two children.
Tags : #Legal