In Landmark Judgement, SC Rules That Unwed Mother is The Natural Guardian of Her Child

The Logical Indian

July 7th, 2015

In a historic judgement the Supreme Court of India ruled that
• An unwed mother is the natural guardian of her child.
• The mother is not obliged to disclose the identity of the father.

The plaintiff, a government official, had filed a case in the Delhi High Court after she couldn’t move a guardianship petition because the consent of the father was compulsory.

The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act of 1956 says that the guardian of a minor is “the father, and after him, the mother”.

When the High Court ruled against her, she took her case to the Supreme Court. She argued that the father did not know of the child’s existence, had nothing to do with the upbringing of her child, and was with her for only 2 months. She stated that any disclosure would create problems for both parents, and asserted her right to not disclose his name.

This judgement is a welcome move for single mothers around the country. It is also a boon for cases where there is no paternal presence whatsoever.
Above all it dispels the social stigma against single mothers that is prevalent in India. Remember the legal battle that Sushmita Sen had to fight just so she could adopt a baby? She was a financially stable person but wasn’t initially allowed to adopt given the lack of social acceptance for single parents in general.

One can ask “Isn’t this unfair on the father?” It’s a pertinent question.
Under the law the father was the sole guardian of the child. The law does not take into account cases where the mother was abandoned by the father, left him after convicted abuse, or cases where a single woman decided to adopt. It essentially left the mother out of the equation.
According to the recent judgement, however, in such cases of paternal absence, the woman is the natural guardian. The father, if he knows of the child’s presence, can move the court seeking guardianship himself. So both parents are part of the equation. But if a father doesn’t know of the child’s presence and doesn’t want to be involved in the child’s upbringing at all, where’s the logic in making him the natural guardian by law?

Share your thoughts..

Propelled by


That darkness of tonight comes with a promise of brighter tomorrow

Related Stories

Earning-Girls Have The Right To Get Father’s Financial Support For Marriage, Rules Kerala HC

My Story: My Father Blamed Her For Being A Bad Woman As She Cared For An Adopted Child

My Story

My Story: That Day I Got To Know, My Mother Died Because She Was Very Young & Was Married At My Age

Delhi HC: Child Born Out Of Rape Is Entitled To Compensation

Intelligence In Children Is Inherited From Their Mother Not Father, Says A New Research

My Story: The Child Crawled Near The Woman’s Head And Forced Her Mother To Sleep On Her Stomach

Latest on The Logical Indian


A Watchman Who Has Been Reaching Out To The Families Of Martyrs To Honor Their Sacrifice

Get Inspired

Despite His Condition That Makes Him Weaker By The Day, This Young Man Lives To The Fullest


11,370 Farmers Committed Suicide In 2016: Union Minister To Parliament


Adityanath Govt To Withdraw 131 Muzaffarnagar, Shamli Riots Cases; Opposition Criticises Move


Tamil Nadu: Drought-Hit Farmers Receive Cheques Of Rs 3, Rs 5, Rs 10 As Crop Insurance


This Woman Left Her Job & Family To Establish An Institute To Empower Women And Promote Sustainable Living