• Name of biological father not required for passport: Delhi HC

    May 21, 2016

    The question of whether the name of the biological father is required for the completion of the passport acquiring process has been on the minds of many for years. There has been a plethora of cases where single mothers have requested the Centre to make a decision regarding the same too. It has created hurdles in several cases, resulting in legal battles. But in the end, after court orders, the authority has issued passports to such children. The Delhi high court has held that in certain cases, mother's name is sufficient for a child to apply for a passport.
    The question at hand is why is the name of the biological mother not sufficient for the passport. The rationale behind this is that the mother can be a natural guardian and a parent too.
    Justice Manmohan earlier this week directed the Regional Passport Office to accept the application form of the girl child of a single parent without insisting upon mentioning her father's name.
    The court ruled that authorities "can insist upon the name of the biological father in the passport only if it is a requirement in law, like standing instructions, manuals, etc. In the absence of any provision making it mandatory to mention the name of one's biological father in the passport, the respondents cannot insist upon the same".
    Justice Manmohan observed, "This court also takes judicial notice of the fact that families of single parents are on the increase due to various reasons like unwed mothers, sex workers, surrogate mothers, rape survivors, children abandoned by father and also children born through IVF technology." He said just because the software of the passport office didn't accept a single parent's applications, it cannot become a legal requirement.
    The HC, in giving out the judgment, pointed out two cases- one in 2005 and one in 2011 where the child has been sanctioned a passport without the name of the biological father, making it very evident that the name of the biological father is not a legal necessity. It is, but only a procedural formality, which cannot be the basis of rejecting her case.


    The question of whether the name of the biological father is quite a valid one. Through this HC decision, it is another way of empowering the womenfolk. The single mother is capable of raising her own child without the help of the father and the fact that it is just a legal necessity for the father’s name to be there is evident enough that it can be scrapped off.

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