Woman moves Delhi HC against ‘NOC from husband’ on reverting to maiden name

Notification by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs ‘gender-biased’: petitioner

March 01, 2024 01:10 am | Updated 01:10 am IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre’ response before May 28, the next date of hearing.

The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre’ response before May 28, the next date of hearing. | Photo Credit: FILE PHOTO

The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the Central government’s response on a plea challenging a notification stating that a married woman who wants to revert to her maiden name after divorce must either furnish divorce papers or a no objection certificate (NOC) from her husband.

The notice was issued by a Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora while hearing a petition by Divya Modi Tongya. Ms. Tongya, who is undergoing divorce proceedings, wishes to use her maiden name again, but a notification by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs restricts her from doing so, her counsel told the court.

The petitioner argued that the notification poses unnecessary barriers for individuals seeking to exercise their constitutional right to choose their name and violates Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution. “The requirement for divorce-related documentation or an NOC from the husband creates arbitrary obstacles and unnecessarily affects divorced women,” her plea stated.

It contended that the notification in question is “gender-biased” and subjects women, who are seeking to change name, to more burdensome conditions compared to men. The court has sought the Centre’s response before May 28, the next date of hearing.

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