Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi has reportedly written a letter to Piyush Goyal, her counterpart in the Finance ministry, asking him to provide an option to the children of separated or divorced women or those adopted by single mothers to not write their father's name while applying for a PAN card.
Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi has reportedly written a letter to Piyush Goyal, her counterpart in the Finance ministry, asking him to provide an option to the children of separated or divorced women or those adopted by single mothers to not write their father’s name while applying for a PAN card. According to a report by Hindustan Times, Gandhi argued that a number of women who were separated from their husbands and have their children living with them, do not want the name of their ex-husbands to be mentioned on the documents pertaining to the children, for various reasons.
“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,” Gandhi has written in the letter.
The letter added that single women are also adopting kids in India and the Union women and child development (WCD) ministry is giving priority to such cases.
As per the current rules, it is mandatory to mention the father’s name in PAN (Permanent Account Number) card which also serves as an identity proof. The unique ten-digit alphanumeric identity is allocated to each taxpayer in India by the Income Tax department.
If the Finance ministry agrees to Gandhi’s request, this will be the second time when the government will amend the existing rules to facilitate single mothers. Earlier in 2016, the ministry of external affairs had changed the rule which asked single mothers and divorcees to get their husbands’ signature as well as a no-objection certificate while applying for their children’s passport.
Since then, the online passport form only requires the applicant to provide the name of the father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This also allows single parents to apply for passports for their children.
The matter was taken to foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj by Maneka Gandhi after Priyanka Gupta, a Delhi-based single mother, had started an online campaign against the authorities’ demand to disclose her estranged husband’s name while applying for her daughter’s passport.