Mumbai News

Bombay HC imposes ₹1.5 lakh fine on couple for forging birth certificates – The Hindu

The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court recently directed a couple to deposit ₹1.5 lakh as fine for forging the birth certificates of their children in order to contest elections. The judge directed that the money be sent to District Collector Latur to be used to treat COVID-19 patients.

Justice Ravindre Ghuge relied upon his order passed on March 7 in the plea filed by Lalita Patil, mother of the children. After perusing the official records, the court had said, “It is established that the couple approached the Registrar – Birth Death Registering Officer for obtaining five birth certificates on a single day. It is apparent that there are manipulations done by the husband of the Petitioner and these three children are shown to have been born with a gap of two years in 1994, 1996 and 1998 and the twins, who are actually Laxman and Laxmi born on June 24, 2006, are shown to be Amar and Sima, born on December 10, 2000.”

The Bench said, “The couple declared that Amar is actually Laxman and Sima is actually Laxmi. Their birth dates have been manipulated and their age has been increased by six years indicating them to be 19 years and 3 months today, when they are 13 years and 9 months old and both are studying presently in the 8th Standard. Such conduct of the Petitioner and her husband cannot be countenanced. This petition is dismissed.”

The order states, “The duo appears to have manipulated the birth records of the children in the reverse order by pushing back their dates of birth after obtaining five birth certificates on a single day. There appears to be mens rea (criminal intent) and a systematic planning in what has been done. It would be a mockery of law and justice to pardon such litigants, who have not only abused the process of law, but have shown scant respect for the majesty of law and have manipulated even government officials.”

After having failed to deposit the sum, the court once again directed the couple to deposit ₹1.5 lakh with District Collector Latur to treat COVID-19 patients. The Bench noted, “Needless to state, the couple have five children, out of which two are born on June 24, 2006, both shall be disqualified from contesting any elections to which the disqualification for having more than two children after the cut of date is prescribed.”