The Delhi High Court observed that both mother and father are equally entitled to recognition as parents of the child and thus omitting mother's name from educational certificates is retrogressive.

The court, therefore, directed that every document relating to the students in which the name of the parents of the student is to be mentioned would reflect the name of both the father and mother of the concerned student. This shall be treated as mandatory and non-negotiable.

The Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar held, “Equality of opportunity is but one facet of gender equality. Equality of recognition is just as important. Just as a daughter and son are equally entitled to recognition as the children of a couple, the mother and father are also equally entitled to recognition as parents of the child. To even question, much less deny, this, would be redolent, again, of an archaic and unrealistic notion of gender difference, which is a notion that has clearly outstayed its welcome.”

The Petitioner Ritika Prasad appeared in person and Advocate Kunal Mittal appeared for the Respondent.

The Court remarked, “To even psychologically compartmentalize human beings on the basis of sex and gender would be woefully anachronistic. It is a matter of pride and joy to this Court to see that a majority of young Counsel at the bar today – including the redoubtable Ms. Prasad – are girls, and, even more satisfyingly, I am informed that 70% of graduates from law schools today are girls. The artificial gender- based mental distinction that we have, over ages, drawn, based on a chance chromosomal circumstance, is now all but effaced. If there is still, among us, anyone who retains that mental block, it is time he woke up and smelt the coffee.”

The petitioner passed her B.A.LL.B. course from the Amity Law School, Delhi, which at that time was affiliated with the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU) i.e. Respondent herein. Her grievance was that the degree issued to her upon completion of the course reflected only her father’s name and not her mother’s name.

The Court also directed “I, therefore, deem it appropriate only to direct compliance with the UGC Circular dated 6 June 2014 insofar as it requires the names of the mother and the father of the student to be mentioned on all educational certificates, degrees, and similar documents. It would be for the University to decide on the format to be adopted in that regard.

The UGC may also, therefore, consider whether it is really necessary (i) to adhere to the tabular format mentioned in the Circular dated 6 June 2014 while mentioning the names of the mother and father of the student concerned and (ii) to require the name of the father’s father and mother’s father or mother’s husband, also to be mentioned.”

The Court also clarified that these observations may have to be adjusted in cases of, for example, children adopted by a sole parent, or such exceptional cases and such cases would have to be addressed on their individual facts.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the petition and directed GGSIPU to issue a fresh degree to the Petitioner.

Cause Title: Ritika Prasad v. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:1927)


Petitioner: Ritika Prasad, Petitioner-in-person

Respondent: Advocate Kunal Mittal

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