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Kerala HC Gives Name To 5-Yr-old Boy; Dismisses Estranged Father’s Plea To Insert His Surname [Read Judgment]

News June 14, 2018

Ashok K.M

I am of the view that a simple name, without a family name appended to it, should be assigned to the child for the present, leaving it open to the child to seek a modification of his name in future and after attaining the age of majority, should he so desire, the Judge observed.

The Kerala High Court has come to the rescue of yet another ‘nameless’ child.

Recently, a division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy upheld a single bench judgment that directed the Registrar to name a 5-year-old boy as ‘Steve’ in the birth certificate.

Just like in the other case, the panchayath had refused the father’s request for inserting the name ‘Ryan Lukose’ as the name of the child in the birth certificate.

The matter reached the high court and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar interacted with the parties.  The mother, with whom the boy resides, told the court that the Church where he was baptised, has given him the name ‘Steve Abraham’.  The counsel, who appeared for the child’s father, disputed this and told the court that the surname ‘Abraham’ has nothing to do with the father’s family.

The judge, in his order, observed: “Taking note of the said factual situation, and finding that it would be, in the interests of the child, that he has a name that is not the subject matter of any dispute between his parents, for such a dispute may prejudice him in future, I am of the view that a simple name, without a family name appended to it, should be assigned to the child for the present, leaving it open to the child to seek a modification of his name in future and after attaining the age of majority, should he so desire.”

The court also observed that the child is known by the name ‘Steve’ in his school and he has no aversion to being called so.

While directing the panchayath to name the boy as ‘Steve’ in the birth certificate, the court said the surname ‘Abraham’, which has been assigned to the child’s name in the baptism certificate and in the school records, shall not be adopted for the purposes of the birth certificate issued in respect of the child.

The father challenged this single bench order before the division bench.

Upholding the single bench order, the division bench observed: “We find that the child of the estranged couple is bearing the name ‘Steve’ and this name is neither specific to the mother or the father. The five year old child has already become used to this name and it may not be in his interest to allow change of name, at the instance of the estranged father.”

Read the Judgment Here