The inter-religious couple approached the HC, after the Municipality refused to give a birth certificate to the boy, citing that his parents couldn't arrive at one name.

Separated parents spar over a name Kerala HC steps in to name child after 5 yearsImage for representation only
news Case Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 16:21

After being without a name for five years since his birth, a Kerala boy finally got one, thanks to the intervention of the High Court. In an order dated April 10, the Kerala HC assigned the name, Johan Sachin to the young boy, who was born on August 29, 2013.

The boy's parents, an inter-religious couple, had failed to arrive at a consensus over what to name the boy, their second child. 

Sachin, who is the boy’s father is Hindu, while the mother is a Christian. The couple got married as per Christian rites on August 29, 2010, and a ceremony was conducted in accordance with the Hindu rites, the following day. 

After the birth of their second child, the couple grew apart and filed for a divorce. Subsequently, when they approached the Municipality asking to issue a birth certificate for the child, the administration refused to do so, citing that the parents couldn't arrive at one name. The boy is now of school-going age, and a birth certificate was necessary to enrol him in school. 

While Sachin wanted to name the boy Abhinav Sachin, the boy's mother wanted to name him Johan Mani Sachin. 

The Municipality officials made it clear that in the wake of the dispute, they can issue a birth certificate only if a court order is issued. 

This took the matter to the doorsteps of the Kerala High Court, where both the parents filed writ petitions. 

The mother cited her son's baptism certificate to state that the name given to the boy was Johan Mani Sachin. However, Sachin argued that at the time of the 28th-day ceremony, it was agreed upon to name the boy Abhinav Sachin. The mother then took the view that she was willing to give up 'Mani' from the name as “a gesture of reconciliation."

The court then ruled: "Taking note of the differences between the parents, I am of the view that as a conciliatory measure and with a view to pacify both the parents of the child, it would be in the interests of justice to accede to the wishes of both the parents to the extent possible and therefore, assign the name “Johan Sachin” to the second child of the petitioners in both these writ petitions. The name “Johan” would represent the wishes of the mother of the child and the name “Sachin”, as a surname would satisfy the requirement of the father of the child as the said name would identify the child as his."

This course of action would be in the interests of the minor child, the court observed. The court also directed the Municipality to issue a birth certificate to the child. 

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