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Child’s Passport can now carry Stepfather’s Name, says Punjab and Haryana High Court

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Chandigarh, November 25, 2016: The High Court of Punjab and Haryana gave a ruling on Wednesday that a child’s passport can carry the stepfather’s name without a declaration by a court, appointing him as a legal guardian.

The ruling came on a petition filed by Mohit (26), as the authorities refused to issue him a passport with his stepfather’s name.

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According to PTI, “The court observed that the marriage of Mohit’s biological parents, S M Arora and Nirmal Arora, was dissolved by a decree of divorce in 1996 by a court in Delhi and his custody was handed over to his mother, who re-married Ujjal Singh in 1997 and got their marriage registered at Panipat.”

In Mohit’s Aadhaar card, PAN card, ration card and school certificates Ujjal Singh’s name was “recorded as father”.

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

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Mohit applied for a passport with his stepfather’s name. However, the authorities, relying on Chapter 8 of the Passport Manual Act, 2010, denied him a passport in the name of his stepfather.

The Act states that the name of one’s stepfather cannot be mentioned in the passport, not even on re- marriage after divorce, until and unless he is appointed by the court as a legal guardian.

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Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain said “the stepfather of the petitioner is his legal guardian for all intents and purposes for which there is no need to obtain an order from the court for his appointment as legal guardian until and unless the capacity of the stepfather, acting as a legal guardian, is challenged by the biological father, especially in a case where the custody is handed over by the court to the mother.”

He ordered the authority to issue to Mohit’s passport bearing his stepfather’s name in a month.

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Begging No More a Criminal Offence: Delhi High Court

The bench decriminalised begging and said that prosecution under the provisions of the Act was "unconstitutional".

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Begging in India. Image source: theindiansociety.org

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that begging is not a criminal offence and struck down laws penalizing it.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar struck down the provisions prosecuting begging under the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act.

The bench decriminalised begging and said that prosecution under the provisions of the Act was “unconstitutional”.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that begging is not a criminal offence. Wikimedia Commons
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled that begging is not a criminal offence. Wikimedia Commons

However, the court granted liberty to the Delhi government to bring in alternative legislation to curb the racket of forced begging after undertaking an empirical examination on the sociological and economic aspect of the matter.

The court was hearing two public interest litigations by Harsh Mandar and Karnika Sawhney to seek basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in the national capital and for decriminalising begging.

Also Read: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Rapped by Delhi High Court for Questioning Judge’s Decision

The pleas also sought basic amenities such as proper food and medical facilities at all beggar homes in Delhi. (IANS)

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