Child has right to use mother’s surname, says Delhi HC
“The father does not own the daughter to dictate that she should use only his surname. If the minor daughter is happy with her surname, what is your problem?” Justice Rekha Palli said.
Every child has the right to use his or her mother’s surname and a father can’t dictate terms, the Delhi high court observed on Friday while hearing a plea by a minor girl’s father seeking direction to the authorities to reflect his name as his daughter’s surname in the documents and not otherwise.
“The father does not own the daughter to dictate that she should use only his surname. If the minor daughter is happy with her surname, what is your problem?” Justice Rekha Palli remarked adding that it is “unfortunate” that the parties are litigating this aspect.
“I see no merit in the present writ petition. The apprehension that the LIC [policy] will be dishonoured is wholly misconceived and is an attempt to somehow settle scores with his estranged wife,” she said, while refusing to pass any order.
During the hearing, the man’s counsel submitted that his daughter is a minor and cannot decide such issues on her own, claiming that the surname was changed by his estranged wife.
He claimed that the change in name will make it difficult to avail insurance claims as the policy was taken in the name of the girl with her father’s surname. The mother had changed the surname from Shrivastava to Saxena.
The court, which declined to allow the plea, noted that even the birth certificate on August 10, 2018, issued by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) also will have both the names.
The judge disposed of the petition with a liberty to the man to approach his daughter’s school to show his name as the father.