HC RULES WOMAN CAN USE HUSBAND’S NAME SURNAME AFTER DIVORCE
By Vijay Chavan, Pune Mirror | Jan 16, 2015, 02.30 AM IST
A 67-year-old Pune-based woman on Thursday found relief after two years of legal battle when the Bombay High Court ruled that a woman can continue to use her ex-husband's name and surname even after divorce, despite a 2011 Supreme Court judgment to the contrary.
The woman, when married, had obtained a passport in April 2002, which was valid till 2012. On March 6, 2012, she filed an application to renew it and disclosed her divorced status. On May 22, 2012, passport office asked for an NOC from her ex-husband for using his surname. The division bench of justices Abhay Oka and A K Menon on Thursday said, "No law prevents a woman from using her name adopted after marriage even after a decree of divorce has been passed by a competent court. It is the right of the divorced woman to use any name, including the name of her divorced husband. It is cruelty to ask a senior citizen to bring an NOC from her husband with whom she no longer has any affiliation."
The woman had filed a petition through advocates Vikas Shinde and Asim Sarode. Sarode said, "We submitted that the communication humiliated her and violated her fundamental rights. The Passport Act of 1967 nowhere mandates that a divorcee needs an NOC from her ex-husband to continue using his name." Shinde added, "The HC directed the passport office to decide within a month on the renewing of her passport, without an NOC". In the 2011 SC judgment in the case of Dinesh Patil, a cop with Mumbai Police, it had ruled that a woman acquires her matrimonial surname by virtue of marriage. When it is dissolved, the man can take recourse to the law to restrain his ex-wife from using his name. The new judgment establishes the woman's fundamental rights.