Dad's origin not only basis to fix child's status: Chennai HC
CHENNAI: Fixing the origin status of a child for the purpose of granting domicile or caste certificate on the basis of the origin of the father alone would amount to gender discrimination, the Madras high court has ruled.
"It cannot be disputed that both the parents are in equal footing, hence, the status of the child has to be decided based on the other relevant factors," Justice S Tamilvanan said. The judge made the observations while allowing a petition of D Vidjeacoumary of Puducherry, whose daughter R Arthi was denied the Scheduled Caste (Origin) certificate by the authorities of the territorial administration.
Her application for the caste certificate was rejected on the ground that the father of the child was not from Puducherry and that he had migrated to the Union territory about 18 years ago.
Vidjeacoumary, a Dalit woman born in 1962 in Puducherry, married V Ranganathan of Tamil Nadu over 18 years ago. After marriage he too moved to the Union territory. In September 1989, Arthi was born. When they applied for the SC (Origin) certificate for Arthi in 2007, it was rejected on the ground that her father did not possess the residential status in the Union territory.
Justice Tamilvanan, disapproving of the denial of certificate to the girl, said: "As contemplated in Article 14 of the Constitution, the state shall not deny equality of person before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Accordingly, no citizen shall be discriminated on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth."
Pointing out that the territorial administration's counter-affidavit itself admitted that Ranganathan was residing in Puducherry for the past 18 years, the judge said: "In the instant case, both the parents of Arthi are permanently residing in Puducherrry and the girl is a resident of the state since her birth. Hence, I am of the considered view that denial of origin status to her based on the origin status of her father is certainly gender discrimination, accordingly violation of Article 14 of the Constitution." The judge then directed the authorities to grant SC (Origin) certificate to Arthi within four weeks.