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Unwed mother can claim guardianship of child without disclosing father's name: SC

Last updated on: July 06, 2015 11:50 IST
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The Supreme Court on Monday passed a landmark judgement, permitting unwed mothers to have the guardianship of their child without the consent of the biological father.

The court order came on a petition by a woman -- a gazetted officer in the government -- who had challenged the procedural necessity of disclosing the identity of the father and issuing notice to him on a plea seeking sole guardianship of the child by the unwed mother.

The mother had contended that the man stayed with her barely for two months and did not even know the existence of the child.

A bench led by Justice Vikramjit Sen set aside the order of the trial court and the Delhi high court directing the woman to disclose father's name to get his consent.

The court said that welfare of the child should be of paramount importance while deciding such issues and that the court should not insist on the name of the father if a lady does not want to disclose it.

The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act requires marriage as a necessary precedent for a parent to apply for guardianship of her child.

Under this statute, a woman requires the man's permission before applying for guardianship.

With this judgment, the Supreme Court has given its stamp of approval to a woman's status as an unwed mother of a child.

Especially as in this case, when the child does not know the identity of the father and when the mother does not want to involve him in the parenting.

More details awaited.

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