In a landmark judgement passed by Supreme Court Of India on 5 July 2015 Monday, an unwed mother can be the child’s sole legal guardian without the consent of the father. According to the rule by Apex court bench headed by Justice Vikramajit Sen, a mother is not required to disclose the father’s name. She will be given sole guardianship of the child with the father’s consent.
By far, according to the Hindu Minority & Guardianship Act 1956, the father was considered the natural guardian of the child & after him, the mother. The Apex Court passed this judgement on a petition filed by a woman who challenged the need of involving the father in a guardianship petition when she never married him. She further stated that he didn’t even know that the child existed.
Trail court & high court had ruled against the petition of this woman. She finally approached the Supreme Court in 2011. The court has sent the matter to the trial court to hear the matter afresh without informing the father.