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Judiciary

Non-negotiable to include mother’s name in certificates of educational qualifications, directs Delhi HC

By Shreya Agarwal      13 March, 2024 06:09 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has held that an educational qualification certificate must mention the names of both the father and mother of the child, and not just the father’s. 

A bench of Justice C Hari Shankar said in this regard, “just as a daughter and son are equally entitled to recognition as the children of a couple, the mother and father are also equally entitled to recognition as parents of the child.”

According to the Court, to even question this right of equal recognition to both parents, much less deny it, “would be redolent of an archaic and unrealistic notion of gender difference, which is a notion that has clearly outstayed its welcome.”

It added, “the artificial gender-based mental distinction that we have, over ages, drawn, based on a chance chromosomal circumstance, is now all but effaced. If there is still, among us, anyone who retains that mental block, it is time he woke up and smelt the coffee.”

The Court was hearing a case wherein the petitioner (a law graduate) approached the Court with the grievance that the degree issued to her reflected only her father’s name and not her mother’s name. Thus, she filed a writ petition seeking that the degree issued to her by the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) should reflect both her parents’ names.

The petitioner had passed her 5-year B.A. LL.B course from the Amity Law School, Delhi, which at the time was affiliated to GGSIPU.

Referring to the University Grants Commission (‘UGC’) circular dated June 6, 2014 the Court held that in future every document relating to the students in which the parent name was to be mentioned, should reflect both the father’s and mother’s name of the student concerned.

It directed GGSIPU that this circular should be treated as mandatory and non-negotiable.

The Court further directed GGSIPU to issue a fresh B.A. LL.B degree/certificate within two weeks to the petitioner graduate, with names of both her father and mother on the degree.

It therefore concluded that there was no reasonable justification for only mentioning the father’s name in any certificate related to education or educational qualifications, and that any such practice “would be clearly retrogressive”.

The Court clarified that these observations might have to be adjusted in cases of children adopted by a sole parent, or such other exceptional cases, as such cases would have to be addressed on their individual facts.

Cause Title: Ritika Prasad v Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University



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