The bench observed that the absence of a name would not be conducive to the child’s welfare
The Kerala High Court invoked its parens patriae jurisdiction to select the name of a child, caught in a dispute between her warring parents over her name. The bench took a position that attempting to resolve the dispute between the parents will take time and in the meanwhile, the absence of a name would not be conducive to the welfare or the best interests of the child.
“In the exercise of such a jurisdiction, the paramount consideration being the welfare of the child and not the rights of the parents, the court has to perform the task of selecting a name for the child. While choosing a name, factors like the welfare of the child, cultural considerations, interests of parents and societal norms can be reckoned by the court. The ultimate objective being the well-being of the child, the court has to adopt a name, taking into consideration the overall circumstances. Thus, this court is compelled to exercise its parens patriae jurisdiction to select a name for the child of the petitioner,” it said.
The child in question had no name on her birth certificate. However, as she was all set to begin her education, the school authorities insisted on a name for her, and refused to accept the birth certificate which carried no name. However, the estranged parents of the child failed to arrive at a consensus on the issue. The court, after looking into all the aspects, pointed out that the name suggested by the mother, with whom the child was residing at present, had to be given due importance, but added that the name of the father also had to be incorporated in the child’s name, since the paternity was also undisputed.
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