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A father doesn’t own his daughter: Delhi HC dismisses man’s plea directing his daughter to use his surname, not his wife’s

The Delhi High Court on Friday heard a plea of a minor girl’s father seeking directions to reflect his name as the surname of his daughter in official documents and not the surname of the mother.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli refused to pass such an order and observed that a father does not own his daughter to dictate she should only use his surname. Justice Palli further stated that every child has a right to take the mother’s surname. 

The plea filed through Advocate Anil Kumar Ranjan informed the court that the petitioner’s estranged wife had changed the surname of their daughter from Srivastava to Saksena. Ranjan further submitted that even though the petitioner was paying maintenance for his daughter, his name was not registered at his daughter’s school. 

Ranjan further submitted that the said change in name could result in difficulty to the petitioner’s daughter in availing an insurance policy as the surname on the policy was of the petitioner.

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The High Court of Delhi declined to allow the plea and disposed it with liberty to the petitioner to move an appropriate application before the school of the minor child. The court instructed the school to make sure the petitioner’s name is registered in the school records.

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