In a progressive judgement, the Supreme Court in 2015 allowed an unmarried mother to apply for guardianship of her child without sending a mandatory notice to the father who did not have any ties with the child after its birth.
Further, the court had also directed that name of the father may not be made public and may also not be necessary for obtaining child’s birth certificate, passport and for school purposes.
In what is being viewed as another progressive judgement, allowing the plea of a 22-year-old unwed mother from Mumbai, the Bombay High Court directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to issue a fresh birth certificate, with space for the name of the biological father left blank.
Among the many reliefs sought by the petitioner, one was to strike out the name of the biological father from the certificate.
In response to this, the court pointed out that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had limited power to correct the register of birth, the court also said that while it cannot direct the name of the biological father to be deleted from the entire records, “however, the name can be masked, or be kept blank in the birth certificate issued by the Corporation,” said Justice A S Oka, as reported by The Indian Express.
The publication also stated that the court directed the BMC to recall any birth certificates of the child that might have already been issued with her father’s name on it. It said that in the future such space on the child’s certificate must always be kept blank.
The courts have been taking on a very balanced approach to all matters that are gender sensitive. On July 27, 2017, the Supreme Court clearly spelt out that an accused in a dowry harassment case cannot be arrested immediately.
The top court said that the police would have to conduct a preliminary inquiry before making arrests in such a case. This move plugged one of the most imbalanced and much-abused sections of Indian law.
You can read all about it in a story we covered here.