A woman disowned her third child to save her election as a panchayat member. But a DNA test nailed her lie and she now stands disqualified.
A Supreme Court bench of Justice Kurien Joseph and Justice R Banumathi dismissed last week Anita Eknath Hatkar’s petition challenging disqualification proceedings against her, initiated on allegations that she has three children.
Hatkar was elected a panchayat member of Chichondi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
The complainant, Prahlad Ahvad, challenged her election, alleging that Hatkar flouted rules as she was a mother to three children, and the third one was born after the cut-off date fixed by the authorities.
According to rules, a mother of three before the affixed date loses her eligibility to contest the rural polls.
The additional collector of Ahmednagar dismissed the complaint. But the Bombay high court allowed an appeal and declared Hatkar’s election void.
Aggrieved with the proceedings, she moved the top court. During a hearing on December 5, her counsel discarded the complaint. But on instructions, he submitted the child was not born to her.
Ahvad’s lawyers — Sandeep S Deshmukh and Narhari Singh — insisted for a DNA test, which the woman agreed to and the court ordered to be conducted in eight weeks.
Until the test report came, the top court stayed her disqualification.
A report from Mumbai’s forensic laboratory placed before the court last week revealed that Hatkar was lying. The result affirmed the third child was that of Anita and her husband, prompting the top court to dismiss her appeal.