No caste certificate for single mother’s adopted child, says Maharashtra government

The petitioner submitted her caste certificate issued by the competent authority, as also the Certificate of Validity issued by the Deputy Director of Social Welfare.

Written by Sailee Dhayalkar | Mumbai | Published: April 3, 2018 5:03:16 am

A Borivali-based single mother has moved the Bombay High Court challenging the state government’s decision denying her adopted son a caste certificate based on the mother’s caste. The state government on Monday told the Bombay High Court that there is no provision to issue a caste certificate to a child adopted by a single mother, as it requires documents from the paternal side. The court has adjourned the case till April 5.

The petitioner, who is unmarried, had adopted her son in 2009, when he was five years old. “There was no father’s name on his birth certificate, it just had his mother’s name. Today, my son is using my name as a middle and surname.” The petition was filed by the 36-year-old woman, a doctor and a Post Graduate Teacher in Oral Medicine and Radiology at a dental college in Navi Mumbai, through her lawyer Pradeep Havnur stating that the petitioner, a single mother, had applied for a caste certificate for her 14-year-old son, on the basis of her caste certificate.

The application submitted to the office of the Deputy Collector, Dharavi Division, was rejected on September 3, 2016. The petitioner then filed an appeal with the District Caste Certificate Scrutiny Committee, Mumbai, to issue her son a certificate stating his caste as ‘Mahyavanshi’ that comes under Scheduled Caste (SC). The appeal was, however, not accepted. The petitioner has also submitted her caste certificate issued by the competent authority, as also the Certificate of Validity issued by the Deputy Director of Social Welfare.

The petitioner told The Indian Express, “This caste certificate will give my son an identity. I had used this caste certificate for my education and I want the same benefits for my son through this caste certificate.” The petitioner has sought “to hold that the act on the part of the respondent nos.1 (Deputy District Collector) and 2 (District Caste Certificate Scrutiny Committee) is illegal, bad in law, parochial and arbitrary and direct the respondents to issue caste certificate in favour of the petitioner’s son, as ‘Mahyavanshi’”.

The petition states, “The petitioner is a single parent of her son, and has adopted a son and by virtue” of legal process and that “the son is entitled to all benefits, advantages, concessions that the petitioner and her family has, being from the ‘Mahyavanshi’ caste.” The petitioner said, “I want to set a precedent in Maharashtra on issuing caste certificate to an adopted son by a single mother. Our Constitution gives right to males and females to adopt a child, if they are open for adoption then why not for issuing caste certificate?”

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