Delhi High Court: V. Kameswar Rao, J., addressed a matter wherein a minor child was not able to apply for a passport either in the name of her biological parents or in the name of her adoptive parents, was unable to pursue her academics in the USA.

A petition was filed praying for a direction against the Passport Authority for issuance of a passport to a minor girl by recording the names of the petitioner and his wife as father and mother on her passport.

Another direction in the present matter was sought against the CBSE to change the name of the parents of the minor girl on her matriculation certificate and record the petitioner and his wife’s name as adoptive parents.

Petitioner’s case was that he was the paternal uncle of the minor girl, whose parents had expired in a road accident, after which the petitioner and his wife legally adopted the minor girl under the provisions of Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956 after taking due permission from District Judge.

Passport Authority had asked to furnish certain documents including ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Central Adoption Resource Authority as the case was of inter-country adoption.

Analysis and Decision

This Court had asked the CGSC appearing for respondents 1 and 2 to take instructions as to whether the minor girl can apply for a passport giving the names of her biological parents. The answer to the same was that the passport cannot be issued to the child incorporating the names of her biological parents as there was already a registered adoption deed.

High Court on noting the urgency expressed by the petitioner’s counsel that the minor had applied for admission in the USA, the fact remained that for the universities to process the forms and also to enable the minor girl write TOEFL examination, the details of her passport were needed to be furnished, as in the absence of the same, she won’t be able to write TOEFL examination.

Bench in view of the interest of justice held that the Court must ensure that minor child is at least able to apply for admission in Universities in USA, hence directed the passport authorities to issue a passport in the name if the girl depicting her residential address and names of her adoptive parents and furnish the number of the passport and to keep the said passport in their custody and not to issue the same.

The above direction was to enable the minor girl to fill details of the passport in her application and the issuance of the passport will be subject to NO to be issued by CARA.

Present matter will be listed on 17-8-2022.[Ravi Ganjoo v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 584, decided on 23-2-2022]

Advocates before the High Court:

For the Petitioner: Siddharth Shankar, Ms. Sushma Shekhar and Ms. Mallika Sundriyal, Advs. with petitioner in person.

For the Respondents: Ms. Nidhi Raman, CGSC with Mr. Zubin Singh, Adv. for R-1 to R-3/UOI

Mr. Rupesh Kumar, Ms. Pankhuri Srivastava, Mr. Pravesh Bahuguna and Mr. Rudraksh Pandey, Advs. for CBSE.

Ms. Biji Rajesh, Adv. for

Mr. Gaurang Kanth, SC for CARA

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