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Opinion

Sarpanch from Maharashtra to undergo a DNA test

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A sarpanch from a village in Maharashtra has to pass a different type of test to retain his position: a DNA test.

Having denied having a third child, the Supreme Court ordered the man to submit to the test to prove his claim.

Sarpanch is alleged to have the third child from his second wife. But he claimed that his second wife never had children from their marriage. In addition, the second marriage ended, he maintained.

According to the Maharashtra Village Panchayats Law, a person is disqualified from holding any position in the gram panchayat if they have more than two children. That person also cannot contest any post.

Since the case has been pending in high court since 2016, an SC bench, headed by Judge Rohinton F Nariman, said the dispute over paternity must now be resolved beyond all doubt.

“A DNA test will show conclusively whether the child is, in fact, the petitioner’s third child,” the court order said.

The bank, which also included judges Navin Sinha and KM Joseph, added that the DNA test will end the controversy over whether the alleged separation between the sarpanch and his second wife was a ploy to stay in office or whether the claims they were authentic.

“Therefore, a DNA test will be carried out on the petitioner (who is Sarpanch) and the child any day next week at the Government Hospital (Aurangabad), in the presence of a responsible doctor,” the order said.

The bank ordered the hospital’s medical officer to provide the test results confidentially, which will be brought to the hearing next month.

The Sarpanch had filed an appeal after the Bombay High Court disqualified him for having more than two children. The higher court had ruled that he had also divided his land in favor of the male child.

Sarpanch’s daughter’s marriage invitation card also mentioned this girl’s name, and the high court had noted that she put its stamp of approval on the disqualification order.

The higher court added that Sarpanch can go to civil court if he wants a legal declaration that the child was not his.

Original source

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