In order to obtain a birth certificate for her girl child, a 31-year-old mother from Nalasopara resident, Palghar district of Maharashtra has approached the Bombay High court. The single mother asserted that she is not interested in disclosing the father’s name and does not want to be forced to do so. The child is a test tube baby and sperms were acquired from an unknown person, her advocate Uday Warunjikar told the bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Pradeep Deshmukh. In her petition, the mother said she is unmarried and became pregnant and delivered a girl child in August 2016. The mother requested the BMC’s birth registration department to permit her to leave the space for the father’s name on the child’s birth certificate blank. As the BMC refused the permission, she approached the high court.

In 2015, the Supreme Court held that the unmarried mother can have the custody of the child without the father’s consent, and she must not be compelled to disclose the identity of the father to the authorities. The mother has to submit an affidavit to the local body seeking the benefit of SC judgement in order to complete the procedure. In another landmark judgement, in 2017, the apex court declared that the individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right.”As the centre in the past has faced falk due to its new schemes which are explicitly entwined with the Aadhar, the controversial biometric identification project. Key judgements included, “privacy is not lost or surrendered merely because the individual is in a public place. Privacy attaches to the person since it is an essential facet of the dignity of the human being”. 

The mother in her petition said she’s unmarried and is also capable of taking care of the child. The high court has directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to reply to her petition. She sent a notice to the BMC’s P North, which was acknowledged in December. Her petition said since there was no communication or decision from BMC she moved the HC. The unmarried mother directed the BMC to issue a birth certificate without the father’s name and not to “share, disclose, circulate and/or give inspection of the record about the birth” to anyone. The judges directed BMC to produce the birth certificate at the upcoming hearing in March. As BMC has not responded to the earlier notice, the judges made it clear that there will be no further time given for the response.

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