Authorities cannot insist on disclosure of father’s name for the purpose of child’s ‘Birth Certificate’:  Madras HC

Madras High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of M.S. Ramesh, J. addressing a Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India on the issue of removal of a name recorded in the column of father’s name in the birth certificate of the petitioner’s child.

In the present case, the daughter of the petitioner was born through a treatment named ‘intrauterine fertility treatment’ in which the insemination was done with the help of a semen donor. The birth certificate of the child consisted of the petitioner’s name in the mother’s column whereas in the father’s column the name of Mr Manish Madanpal was mentioned which was wrongly entered as he had no relation with the child and was just helping the petitioner during her delivery on a humanitarian ground.

The petitioner’s request for the removal of the father’s name was rejected on the ground that only the mistakes and errors in the names of the father can be rectified and removal of the name from the birth certificate is not contemplated under the relevant law.

One of the pertinent issue that Court noticed was of the insistence of the authorities towards the petitioner in regard to the revelation of father’s name. The High Court established the fact that in a case like that of the petitioner’s, the name of the name of the father of the child cannot be disclosed. By placing reliance on the Supreme Court case in  ABC v. State (NCT of Delhi), AIR 2015 SC 2569, the High Court also stated that no women shall be insisted on revealing the father’s name when the details of the birth are registered in the books of the authorities concerned.

Therefore, on the directions of the Court, the birth certificate in the present case was rectified in which the father’s name was left blank. [Mathumitha Ramesh v. Chief Health Officer,2018 SCC OnLine Mad 2153, dated 11-06-2018]

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