The High Court of Punjab and Haryana recently directed the Regional Passport Office to allow an applicant's request for inclusion of her biological mother's name in her passport, instead of her step-mother's name.
The bench of Justice BS Walia allowed the writ petition filed by one Divya Nagpal, on noting that "no prejudice would be caused to either of the parties in the eventuality the name of the Petitioner's biological mother is mentioned in her passport."
The Petitioner had moved the High Court stating that her biological mother's name is reflected in her birth certificate, educational certificates as well as Aadhar Card, therefore, correction sought in the passport is only by incorporation of name of the biological mother instead of the step mother to avoid any kind of difficulty during travel or in studies abroad.
It was submitted that her biological mother died in the year 2002, when she was 12 years of age. In the year 2004, her father applied for issuance of passport in her name by mentioning her step mother's name.
She contended that she had applied for issuance of a fresh passport after she attained majority and at that time she had the opportunity to change any particulars if she so desired, in terms of Clause 4.12 of Chapter-9 of the guidelines in the Passport Manual.
As per the said, guidelines,
"Name of stepfather/stepmother may be written in the passport of the minor against the column of father/mother. Death certificate from the authority concerned in respect of death of biological father/mother, remarriage certificate/joint affidavit relating to remarriage of father/mother and school certificate showing name/step-parent's name (for school going children) should be submitted along with the passport application. When the child applies for passport for the first time after he becomes major, he has the option to retain the name of biological parent or step-parent, as recorded in his Birth Certificate/educational certificate"
The bench observed that even though the manual prescribes "mere guidelines", mention of her biological mother's name on her passport would in fact "prevent confusion" in the identification of the petitioner in view of different mothers names in birth certificate, educational certificates as well as Aadhar Card on the one hand and in the passport on the other hand.
The court thus directed the Regional Passport Officer, Chandigarh to process her request and issue a fresh passport to her by reflecting her biological mother's name, within a period of ten days.
Case Title: Divya Nagpal v. Union of India & Anr.
Case No.: CWP No.7892/2020
Quorum: Justice BS Walia
Appearance: Advocates SS Behl and Harpreet Kaur (for Petitioner); Advocate Amrita Singh (for Respondent)
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