In an interesting incident, the Kerala High Court named a three-year-old child when the girl’s estranged parents could not arrive at a conclusion regarding naming their daughter.
In an order issued last month, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas said that the child is presently residing with the mother whose name suggestion has to be given due importance, while the father’s name also has to be incorporated because there is no dispute on paternity.
The girl child was born on February 12, 2020, and the relationship between her parents turned sour. As the birth certificate of the girl contained no name, her mother tried to register a name for her. However, the Registrar of births and deaths insisted on the presence of both the parents during the registration of the name.
The mother approached the High Court after the duo could not arrive at a consensus on the name.
Delivering its order on September 5, the court observed that the paramount consideration was the welfare of the child and not the rights of the parents while invoking its parens patriae jurisdiction.
"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)