HC lets unwed woman get daughter’s birth certificate without father’s name
The bench refused to alter the girl’s birth record primarily in view of a Supreme Court ruling recognising right of every child to know identity of his or her biological parents.mumbai Updated: Mar 14, 2018 00:11 IST
In a relief for a 23-year-old unwed mother, the Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to issue her daughter’s birth certificate without mentioning the name of the biological father of the child.
The relief, however, is limited to the birth certificate.
The division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla refused to alter birth record of the child and delete the name of her biological father altogether from the record maintained by the BMC, although the man had consented for dropping his name from all the records relating to the child, including her birth record maintained by the civic body.
The bench refused to alter the girl’s birth record primarily in view of a Supreme Court ruling recognising right of every child to know identity of his or her biological parents.
The Borivli resident had approached the high court last year seeking “corrections” in the birth record of her daughter – complete removal of the name of the child’s biological father from the record and change in her status, as reflected in the record, as “unmarried.”
According to her lawyer, advocate Uday Warunjikar, though unmarried, the 23-year-old got pregnant and delivered a baby girl in November 2014.
She claimed that her marital status was mistakenly recorded as “married” in the application for registration of birth of the child and the application also mentioned the name of the child’s biological father, but for some reason the young woman wanted to get his name struck off from the record. He said the woman also wanted to get her marital status in the record corrected to “unmarried.”
In support of her claim, the woman had cited a judgment of the apex court that mandated authorities to issue birth certificates of children of single parents or unwed mothers only on the basis of affidavit filed by them without the name of their partners. In March 2016, she had made an affidavit in terms of the Supreme Court judgment and requested the BMC health officer to correct her daughter’s birth record. She approached the high court after her plea was turned down.
The health officer responded saying he had no power to change or make corrections in birth record of a person and such corrections cannot be done without orders from a competent court.
The high court, however, found that the health officer has limited power to correct the birth record “only if he is satisfied that the earlier entry is erroneous in form or substance.”
The bench said, though there was no such error in this case, it was necessary to order the civic body to issue a fresh birth certificate of the petitioner’s daughter without incorporating name of biological father of the child, in terms of the Supreme Court order.