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As separated parents unable to agree on name, Kerala HC names child

As separated parents unable to agree on name, Kerala HC names child

Kochi: A three-year-old girl was given a name by the Kerala High Court after her estranged parents were unable to agree on a name for her.

In a ruling last month, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas stated that the mother's preferred name, with whom the kid is now residing, must be given fair consideration, and that the father's name must also be included due to the lack of any paternity disputes.

The matter pertained to an estranged couple fighting over their daughter's name.

As the birth certificate issued to the girl had no name on it, her mother attempted to register a name. However, the Registrar of Births and Deaths insisted on the presence of both parents before him to register the name.

As the couple could not arrive at a consensus on the name, the mother approached the High Court. The child was born on February 12, 2020, and the relationship between the parents turned sour.

The court, in its September 5 order, observed that while invoking its parent's patriae jurisdiction, the paramount consideration was the welfare of the child and not the rights of the parents.

'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,' the court said.

Parens patriae is a legal principle which envisages the state or the court in a protective role over its citizens.

With PTI inputs

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