The Supreme Court overturns a Patna High Court ruling that allowed elected officials who were disqualified for having more than two children to remain members of the Panchayat: Supreme Court of India

In the case of Usha Kaushik v. State of Bihar & Ors| SLP 10563/2022 (Special Leave to Appeal (C) Nos.), the Supreme Court of India through learned judges Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh stayed a Patna High Court decision that had barred elected officials from serving as Panchayat members for having more than two children.

Facts of the case

In this case, the petitioner had filed a complaint with the State Election Commission claiming that Vijay Paswan, Punam Devi, and Saryug Mochi lied about their children when they ran for Ward Councillor in Naubatpur, Patna.The complaint was filed by citing Section 18(1)(m) of the Bihar Municipality Act of 2007, which states that a candidate for a local body election was disqualified if he had more than two living children after April 5, 2008.The petition was heard by the Commission, which reserved its judgment.However, the petitioner filed a writ with the High Court, and the matter was resolved by granting the petitioner permission to appear before the Commission for a rehearing after it had been more than five months since it issued its decision.The three elected members complained to the High Court that the Enquiry Officer did not provide them with sufficient opportunities after the commission disqualified them.The High Court granted the relief and imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 on the State Election Commission, citing the ruling in Rajani Kumari v. State Election Commission.


The court stipulated that the counter affidavit should be submitted within four weeks and the rejoinder within two weeks. In the interim, the court noted that the challenged judgment will not take effect, but elected officials will continue to serve as Panchayat members. The court also ordered the parties to submit brief synopses of no more than three pages each.

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