A child, caught in the matrimonial dispute of his parents, was christened by a Kerala High Court judge after the inter-faith couple took the matter to court. The couple had earlier approached the municipal authorities seeking a birth certificate, but no action was taken as both wanted different names for their child.
Underscoring the urgency of the matter, the court observed that the child, second of the couple, would need a birth certificate for school admission, where the document would be a pre-requisite. The father, a Hindu, wanted the child to be named ‘Abhinav Sachin’ whereas the mother, a Christian, said the child was baptised as ‘Johan Mani Sachin’, according to a report by news agency Press Trust of India.
The father claimed that the child had been named ‘Abhinav’ on the 28th day ceremony (as per the Hindu practice in Kerala for naming the newborn) and insisted that the named be retained in place of Johan. The counsel appearing for the mother said that she was willing to drop ‘Mani’ from the name in the Baptism Certificate as a compromise.
“….. 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 Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar said in the judgement. The child’s first name ‘Johan’ would be as per the wishes of the mother, and he would retain the name of the father, ‘Sachin’, as the surname, the judge said.
The judge directed the Registrar (Births & Deaths) to issue the certificate within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the judgment.
The child is in the custody of the mother, with occasional custody of the father, as per the ruling of a family court where the divorce proceeding is underway. The couple, currently in the middle of a divorce proceeding at a family court, got married in 2010. They had their first child in 2011, and the second in 2013.
(With inputs from PTI)