A two member bench of the Uttarakhand High Court read down a law which disqualified candidates with more than two children from contesting panchayat elections in the state. The court also ruled that the law applies to only those parents who had a third child or more after July 17 this year.
The Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP state government had earlier amended the Uttarakhand Panchayat Raj Amendment Act, 2019, inserting a provision that ensured that candidates with more than two children are disqualified from local body polls.
The court order comes just ahead of the state panchayat elections, the process of filing nominations for which begins on Friday. The court has also said that the law cannot be applied retrospectively.
“We, therefore, read down Section 8(1)(r) and declare that the disqualification from contesting elections to Panchayati Raj Institution, in terms of the said provision, would apply only to cases where persons, having two children or more, have a third child or more after 25.07.2019. The said provision shall not be understood as disqualifying those who already have three or more children before 25.07.2019.” a two member bench of the High Court said in the order.
Congress leader Jot Singh Bisht and others had challenged the provision in the law before the High Court earlier this year.