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India: Unwed Mothers Can be Sole Legal Guardian - Supreme Court of India Ruling of 2015

15 July 2015

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Vagabomb - 6 July, 2015

Supreme Court: Unwed Mothers Can Be Sole Legal Guardian, Don’t Have To Reveal Father’s Identity

by Sukhmani Waraich

Mothers who are not married have never had it easy in India, and they probably won’t for a long time to come. But the Supreme Court has just made their lives a little bit easier. India’s apex court has ruled that an unwed mother does not have to take consent from the biological father of the child, or reveal his identity for sole guardianship of the child . This judgement sets aside the order of the trial court and the Delhi High Court which ruled that an unwed mother must declare the identity of the father for guardianship of the child.

While passing this landmark judgement, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Vikramjit Sen said that the trial court and the High Court had lost sight of the welfare of the child, which should have been top priority.

The Supreme Court ruling came after a petition from a woman who is a government officer. She had said that the biological father of the child did not even know of the existence of the child and had stayed with her only for a few days. The mother of the child had petitioned saying that she did not want to disclose the identity of the child’s father, as he had nothing to do with the child’s upbringing. [. . .]

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