Father does not own his daughter, child has right to use mother’s surname: HC

Judge Palli asked the petitioner why the child could not use the mother's surname? "This is your mentality. I am sorry to say this,” she said

The Delhi High Court Judge pointed out that every child has a right to use her mother’s surname

A Delhi High Court judge has observed that a father “does not own his daughter” and cannot demand that she should use his surname, even as every child enjoys the right to use her mother’s name.

These observations were made by Justice Rekha Palli hearing the petition of a father who wanted his minor daughter’s surname not her mother’s moniker but to reflect his name,  said a report in LiveLaw.

According to the report, the Judge while hearing the plea to issue directions to the concerned authorities to change his minor daughter’s surname in all the documents which carried her mother’s name, said ostensibly in a curt manner, “Why can’t she use her name. “This is your mentality. I am sorry to say this.”

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The Judge went on to add that every child has a right to use her mother’s surname. A father does not own his daughter to dictate that she should only use his surname, she had pointed out.

The petitioner had approached the court stating that his daughter was a minor and as her natural guardian he had to make decisions for her. Further, he had said his estranged wife had changed the child’s surname and this change would affect any insurance claims and benefits of a policy was taken in the child’s name, which then had her father’s surname.

At the outset, Judge Palli dismissively asked him that if his minor daughter was happy with the surname, what was his problem? Finally, the court disposed of the case as one without any merit. However, the petitioner was allowed to approach his daughter’s school and submit his name as the father of the child.

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