Child has right to use mother’s surname: Delhi HC

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A father does not own the daughter to dictate terms and every child has a right to use his or her mother’s surname, the Delhi High Court Friday observed.

The court’s observation came while hearing a plea by a minor girl’s father seeking direction to the authorities to reflect his name as his daughter’s surname in the documents and not her mother’s name.

Justice Rekha Palli, however, declined to pass such a direction and said, “A father does not own the daughter to dictate that she should use only his surname. If the minor daughter is happy with her surname, what is your problem?” The court said every child has a right to use his/her mother’s surname if he/she wishes to.

During the hearing, the man’s counsel submitted that his daughter is minor and cannot decide such issues on her own and that the child’s surname was changed by his estranged wife.

He claimed that the change in name will make it difficult to avail insurance claims from the insurance firm as the policy was taken in the name of the girl with her father’s surname.

The court, which declined to allow the plea, disposed of the petition with a liberty to the man to approach his daughter’s school to show his name as the father.

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