NEW DELHI: Today, the bench headed by Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari gives a verdict that “After the demise of her first husband, being the only natural guardian of the child we fail to see how the mother can be lawfully restrained from including the child in her new family and deciding the surname of the child.”
“Mother can give surname of second husband to child after death of biological father. There is nothing unusual in a mother upon remarriage giving the child the surname of her husband.”
The Supreme Court judgment came on the dispute over the surname of a child between the biological mother and the biological paternal grandparents of the child. The woman got remarried after her husband died.
The mother approaches the Apex Court challenging the Andhra Pradesh High Court decision which ordered a restoration of the child’s original surname. The Court directed that wherever the records permit, the name of the natural father shall be shown and if it is otherwise impermissible, the name of the new husband of the mother shall be mentioned as “step-father”
Further, Court states that the mother has been elevated to an equal position as the father, bolstering her right as a natural guardian of the minor child under Section 6 of the Hindu Minority and Adoption Act, 1956.
“The fact that to date a mother’s right to choose her child’s surname was restricted by our patriarchal culture is tremendously disheartening. The Hon’ble Supreme Court’s ruling is a landmark judgment for women’s rights since it gives a woman the authority to choose the name/surname of her children after the death of her husband. I am pleased that this landmark decision puts an end to the pitiable situation of women who have been struggling for their rights for centuries.” says Advocate Ravi Bassi from the Petitioner’s side.
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