The Bombay High Court has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to issue a new birth certificate to a baby girl without mentioning the biological father’s name. The child was born to a single mother with the help of a sperm donor.
Justices AS Oka and RI Chagla has told the corporation that the fresh birth certificate should leave a blank space for the father’s name.
Facts of the Case
The court was hearing a petition filed by a 31-year-old single mother from Nalasopara in Maharashtra’s Palghar district. The petitioner had given birth in August 2016 using in vitro fertilisation.
The lady contended that she should not be forced to disclose the name of the child’s father. She had initially requested the BMC’s birth registration department to allow her to not mention the father’s name in the document. However, when the civic authorities refused to grant her permission and incorporated the father’s name in the certificate from hospital records, she approached the High Court.
Last week, the BMC had produced the child’s birth certificate and the original records before the high court.
As per the records, at the time of the child’s birth, the petitioner had submitted her full name and claimed that she was married to a businessman.
Though the woman questioned the authenticity of the form, the civic body said it had her signature. The corporation also said that it did not have the powers to delete an entry related to a birth or death once it had been entered in its records.
The petitioner has cited a 2015 landmark judgment of the Supreme Court that said single mothers must not be compelled to disclose the name of their child’s biological father in birth certificates. “The judgment is binding on the respondents,” her petition said. “However, the respondents have failed, avoided and neglected to comply with the said Supreme Court direction.” Read Here
The bench said, “While the High Court cannot order the deletion of an entry in the hospital form and consequently in the birth register, nevertheless, in view of the apex court order, the corporation is directed to recall all the birth certificates of the petitioner’s child already issued. The court also asked the Municipal Commissioner to appoint an officer in two months to probe the allegations made by the mother.” Read Here