Thursday, October 30, 2014

Child's passport: Unwed mother

While applying for a passport for her child, an unwed mother will have to declare how she conceived, the Union government told Bombay high court on Thursday.

The reply was to a query by a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Anuja Prabhudessai, which heard a petition by a woman challenging the passport authority's refusal to include her step-father's name in her passport. When the HC was parting with the matter, Justice Kanade asked, "We were wondering what happens in case of unwed mothers?"

Advocate Purnima Bhatia, appearing for the foreign ministry, said an unwed mother must file an affidavit stating "how she has conceived" and "if she was raped" and why she does not want the father's name included. She added the details are in the passport manual, a classified document.

The judges exchanged surprised glances and murmured. Sania Akram (21, name changed) move d court challenging the refusal of the regional passport officer to issue passport in the name of her step-father as recorded in her school/college certificates, saying she must obtain a court order appointing him as her guardian. The officer also refused to alternately include the name of her mother, who has permanent custody of Sania.

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