MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has upheld a 2018 order of a civil court that set aside the election of Shiv Sena leader Anita Magar as corporator of the Solapur Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra, after it came to light that she had more than two children.
In an order passed on May 24, a copy of which was made available on Tuesday evening, a single bench of Justice C V Bhadang dismissed a plea filed by Magar challenging the 2018 order.
Justice Bhadang, however, stayed his order for four weeks to permit Magar to file an appeal challenging the same and to take recourse to any other legal remedies available.
As per the HC verdict, in the Solapur Municipal Corporation elections in 2017, Magar and three others contested from Ward No.11(C).
There was no objection to the nomination of any of these candidates and on February 23, 2017, Magar was declared elected.
She secured the highest number of 4,955 votes, beating one Bhagyalaxmi Mahanta who got 3,422 votes.
Mahanta, however, challenged the poll result and filed a plea in a Solapur court, seeking that Magar's election be set aside as she had more than two children and had thus, violated the state's two-child norm.
Mahanta referred to provisions of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act and the state Election Commission's guidelines of September 12, 2001, which mandate that the nomination of an elected representative is liable to be set aside if he/she is found to have more than two children.
She contended that Magar had three children.
But, Magar told the Solapur court and the HC that she only had two biological children and the third child that Mahanta had referred to was of Magar's brother-in-law.
Magar also said the third child's birth certificate bore her and her husband's names as biological parents due to an "inadvertent error" on part of the hospital where the child was born.
She also told the court that the third child's birth certificate was corrected in 2012.
The HC, however, observed that such a correction had been brought about only when Magar's husband decided to contest the local municipal polls in 2012.
The high court also noted that Magar had offered no proof in the form of a paternity test or any other documentary evidence to show the third child was not her biological daughter.
The HC held there was no error in the Solapur court's order that had set aside Magar's election.
"The petition is dismissed. Rule is discharged with no order as to costs," the HC said, while dismissing Magar's appeal.