25 Jun 2022 5:45 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court has reiterated that a Registrar under the Births and Deaths Registration Act is bound to issue certificate in the name of adoptive father where there is no rebuttal to the adoption deed of the Applicant.The observation was made by Justice AS Supehia in a petition moved by the mother of one 'Nidhi', seeking to include her second husband/ Nidhi's adoptive father's name...
The Gujarat High Court has reiterated that a Registrar under the Births and Deaths Registration Act is bound to issue certificate in the name of adoptive father where there is no rebuttal to the adoption deed of the Applicant.
The observation was made by Justice AS Supehia in a petition moved by the mother of one 'Nidhi', seeking to include her second husband/ Nidhi's adoptive father's name in Nidhi's birth certificate. The bench observed that the Registrar cannot insist on a decree of the Court with regard to the adoption since as per Section 16 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, a "presumption" is drawn in favour of the Petitioner under Section 16 of the Adoptions Act, since there is no rebuttal to the adoption deed of her daughter "Nidhi".
'Nidhi' was born out of Petitioner's first marriage. As the husband of the Petitioner passed away, she remarried. Consequently, an adoption deed was executed in her husband's favour.
The Petitioner also applied for the change in name of her daughter's surname in accordance with her father's name and the same was published in the Gujarat Government Gazette, as well. In 2021, the Petitioner approached the Respondent Authority seeking issuance of a certificate in the name of the adoptive father, but the Respondent authority did not issue the certificate stating that no record was not available to the authority, and an "inaccessible certificate" was issued.
The Petitioner relied on Section 15 of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969 to aver that power has been vested in the Respondent authority to effect change in the name in the birth certificate. Per the Petitioner, the Respondent did not apply any mind in considering the documents produced on record and instead directed the Petitioner to obtain a judicial order from the High Court.
Reference was made to Sukumar Mehta vs. District Registrar, Births And Deaths, 1993 (1) G.L.R. 93, Sejalben Mukundbhai Patel W/o Khodabhai Joitaram Patel, 2019 (3) G.L.R. 1866 to insist that the Respondent authority is required to issue a certificate in the name of her adoptive father since the adoption deed was not questioned by anyone.
Justice Supehia noted that the register in which the birth of the Petitioner's name was in 'torn and shabby condition.' Further, the Respondent had 'conveniently' issued an inaccessible certificate instead of issuing a fresh birth certificate in the name of the Petitioner's daughter with her new surname. Additionally, the fact of the Petitioner's former husband's death and her remarriage were not in dispute. Proper documents, including the adoption deed of the Petitioner's daughter 'Nidhi', were available. The change in name had also been published in the Gujarat Government Gazette with her new surname.
It referred to a previous decision of the High Court where it was held: "while exercising powers under section 15 of the Registration Act, the Registrar can correct an entry already made in the Birth Register if the same is conceded, and such correction should legitimately take within its sweep the correction of entries rightfully made, since it is the correction of the name of the child at the instance of the parents of wards."
In view of the above, the Court directed the Registrar to correct the father's name incorporating the name of adoptive father and issue a fresh birth certificate within a period of three months.
Also Read: [Altering Father's Name In Birth Certificate] Biological Father's Consent Not Required In Absence Of Challenge To Adoption Deed: Gujarat High Court
Case Title: KAJALBEN RAKESHBHAI BHADIYADRA v/s THE REGISTRAR, REGISTRATION OF BIRTH AND DEATH
Case No.: C/SCA/18439/2021
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Guj) 240
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