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Why are mothers ignored, asks SC

Mothers hardly match the authority a father commands in official documents necessary to prove a person’s identity. While the father’s name prominently figures in government documents, the mother is usually given the go-by. The Supreme Court is all set to change that.

On a public writ petition, a three-judge Bench of Justices H.L. Dattu, R.K. Agrawal and Arun Mishra on Wednesday directed the Centre and State governments to respond on why the mother is not given equal representation with the father when describing a person’s parenthood in basic official documents.

The petition, filed by journalist Madhav Kant Mishra from Allahabad, says ignoring the parenthood of the mother in government documents is in gross violation of the Fundamental Right to Equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. It sought an ordinance making the mother’s name compulsory in public documents.

“This petition is not intended to interfere with any personal law, custom or usage. A woman gives birth to a child, but when it comes to paternity, it is always the father who steals the march,” the petition said.

It adds that this is the situation when the “undisputed fact is that the paternity of a person through the mother is certain and that of father is always hearsay for the child.”

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