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Kerala High Court Names Three-Year-Old Child Amidst Parental Dispute

As the couple could not arrive at a consensus on the name, the mother approached the High Court.

Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court has named a three-year-old child, after the girl's estranged parents could not arrive at a consensus on what they should name her.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas, in an order issued last month, said the name suggested by the mother, with whom the child is presently residing, has to be given due importance, while the name of the father is also to be incorporated due to the absence of any dispute on paternity.

The matter pertained to an estranged couple fighting over their daughter's name.

As the birth certificate issued to the girl had no name on it, her mother attempted to register a name. However, the Registrar of births and deaths insisted on the presence of both parents before him to register the name.

As the couple could not arrive at a consensus on the name, the mother approached the High Court.

The child was born on February 12, 2020 and the relationship between the parents turned sour.

The court, in its September 5 order, observed that while invoking its parens patriae jurisdiction, the paramount consideration was the welfare of the child and not the rights of the parents.

"While choosing a name, factors like the welfare of the child, cultural considerations, interests of parents and societal norms can be reckoned by the court. The ultimate objective being the well-being of the child, the court has to adopt a name, taking into consideration the overall circumstances. Thus, this court is compelled to exercise its parens patriae jurisdiction to select a name for the child," the court said.

Parens patriae is a legal principle which envisages the state or the court in a protective role over its citizens.

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