Delhi High Court: A Child Has Right To Use Mother’s Surname

During a person’s petition to reflect his surname on his minor daughter’s legal documents, Justice Rekha Palli disagreed with the petitioner. The Delhi High Court observed the freedom of a child’s choices to use his/her/their mother’s surname.

When the hearing of the case was taking place, the counsel of the girl’s father asked for a change in surname, because girl is minor. Therefore, according to them, she is unable to decide these kind of issues. Reportedly, the man submitted that his daughter’s surname carried his name earlier, but his wife dropped it.

The petitioner asserts that because of the change in surname it would be difficult for them to avail insurance claims. Since the insurance policy of a firm was registered under his daughter’s name, the man is unsure, if he will get the insurance benefits or not.

‘Father Does Not Own Daughter’ Observes Delhi High Court

While declining the petition, Justice Rekha Palli said, “A father does not own the daughter to dictate that she should use only his surname. Every child has a right to use mother’s surname.

Moreover, when the counsel insisted on using the father’s name on his daughter’s official documents, Justice Rekha Palli further says, “If the minor daughter is happy with her surname, what is your problem? Why can’t she use her name? This is your mentality. I’m sorry to say this.”

Therefore, as observed by the Delhi High Court, a father does not dictate his child’s terms to live by. Especially, those terms which in some way undermine the mother’s role as a parent, in addition to the child’s personal choices. The Delhi High Court disposed of the petition after the hearing. The Court has maintained the liberty give to the girl’s father. He can approach his daughter’s school and can show his name as the father.

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