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Married Woman Can’t Rely On Husband’s Caste To Contest Reserved Seat: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]

nitish kashyap
23 Oct 2017 3:26 PM GMT

Upholding the decision of the Supreme Court in Valsamma Paul vs Cochin University and Others, the Bombay High Court has held that a married woman cannot simply rely on her husband’s caste to contest an election from a reserved seat.A bench of Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice Riyaz Chagla was hearing a writ petition filed by one Anuradha Kakar who got elected as a corporator in the...

Upholding the decision of the Supreme Court in Valsamma Paul vs Cochin University and Others, the Bombay High Court has held that a married woman cannot simply rely on her husband’s caste to contest an election from a reserved seat.

A bench of Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice Riyaz Chagla was hearing a writ petition filed by one Anuradha Kakar who got elected as a corporator in the Sholapur Municipal Corporation on a seat reserved for Other Backward Classes.

At the time of filing of the election form, the petitioner submitted documents claiming ‘Tambat’ (OBC) as her caste. But this was her husband’s caste, not her father’s.

The petitioner was then elected in February 2017 from the said seat. Following this, the Divisional Caste Scrutiny Committee asked the petitioner to submit relevant caste documents of her father’s side, which she did. Her father’s caste was ‘Lohar NT’.

Thereafter, on March 10, the State Election Commission wrote to the Secretary of Town Planning Management, Mantralaya, stating that the petitioner’s election should be cancelled retrospectively.

However, due to non-availability of members of the scrutiny committee, no decision regarding the caste claim of the petitioner was taken. Consequently, the said writ petition was filed.

Petitioner’s lawyer AB Tajane submitted that even though his client contested the election on the basis of her husband’s caste, she complied with the request of the committee to furnish documents regarding her father’s caste. Hence, the petitioner should not be disqualified in view of Section 5B of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, he said.

AGP AP Vanarse submitted that it was very clear from the law laid down by the Supreme Court that the petitioner cannot rely on the caste of her husband's side as ‘Tambat’ OBC and contest the election under that caste.

Relying on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Valsamma Paul vs Cochin University, the court said: “It is thus clear that a married woman cannot by relying on her husband’s caste claim entitlement to contest election for the seat reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate.”

Thus, the court held that the petitioner was wrongfully elected to the reserved seat and dismissed the petition.

Read the Judgment Here

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