Mumbai: A slew of recent judgments have seen single mothers legally empowered. In 2015, the Supreme Court asked civic bodies not to insist on the child's father's name in issuing birth certificates to children born out of wedlock, while the Delhi High Court held that the mother's name was sufficient for issuance of passports. On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court asked the BMC to issue a fresh birth certificate to the child of a woman who did not want her lover's name to feature as the father of her child on the latter's birth certificate.
Welcoming the order, advocate Swapana Kode said, “This is a very good decision by the court allowing only the mother's name to be mentioned on the certificate. Single mothers face a lot of difficulty in raising their children, especially in terms of school admissions and making of passports. This move will lessen their problems.”
Advocate Abha Singh, too, welcomed the order saying, “It will strengthen gender equality. After the Supreme Court’s 2015 order, now, school admissions and issuance of passports is done in the name of mothers. On the other hand, what will women do if their companions shrug off their responsibilities as fathers?”
In 2015, the SC had said that in today’s Indian society, women were increasingly choosing to raise their children alone and the law must recognise the reality and evolve with the changing times.
The court then gave directions to civic bodies about single parent or unwed mother applying for birth certificate for a child. The authorities require an affidavit from them before issuing a birth certificate.