Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi has written to the Finance Ministry seeking an option to drop the father’s name from the Permanent Account Number card of children who have been raised by single mothers, the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.
Currently, it is compulsory to have the father’s name on the PAN card, which also serves as an identity proof. The Income Tax department assigns a 10-digit alphanumeric identity to every tax payer.
Gandhi asked interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal to “re-examine” the application form while considering the case of single mothers. She pushed for the move citing women who have been separated from their husbands and who for personal reasons do not want the names of their former husbands on the documents.
“Keeping in view the sensitivity of such single mothers, it is important to give them option of not having to mention the names of their ex-husbands on the statutory applications required to be filed before different government authorities,” the daily quoted the letter as saying.
She also cited the case of single women who adopt children. “In such cases, there is no father of the child whose PAN number is being requested for.”
Father’s name not mandatory in passports
In June 2016, Gandhi asked the Ministry of External Affairs to amend the rules while issuing passports and not make father’s name a mandatory requirement. Gandhi’s request had come after a single mother, Priyanka Gupta, tried to get her daughter’s passport issued without the child’s father’s name in it, after which she started a petition on change.org.
In May 2016, the Delhi High Court ruled that it was not essential to mention the name of the father on a passport if the mother and child so desired.