Tatheer Fatima – The Woman Who Moved The Court To Change Her Surname From Her Father to Mother

In a rather unique case that Pakistan has previously seldom seen before, a 22 years old woman is moved the court to change her surname from her father to her mother.

Tatheer Fatima claims that her father abandoned her when she was a child and never looked back. She raised couple significant questions in her petition: whether the individual who abandons his child after birth deserves to be called his/her in the first place and also if a child is entitled to be registered as a citizen of Pakistan without identifying parents.

In the last hearing of this case and first of its nature, the Supreme Court named National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and the Immigration and Passport department as respondents in the petition. CJP ordered NADRA to acquire information about Tatheer’s father and summon him to court.

Her father, when appeared to the three-judge bench, was questioned by the honourable CJP when he last saw his daughter and why he didn’t contact her. He said he last saw Tatheer in 2002, and despite making efforts, her mother didn’t allow him to meet her.

CJP rejected his claim and said he can’t see any efforts being made by him in this regard. The court directed him to pay a financial remedy.

“You will have to remedy this. The expenses for all the years that have passed will be recovered from you, even if you need to steal [to get the money].” – said the top Judge to Tatheer’s father.

He replied that he isn’t financially sufficient to do, to which judge asked FIA DG to explore his assets. CJP also said that if he is poor, he will face civil charges and go to jail.

He further said that Islamic law doesn’t allow the child to detach from his/her father’s name but the court, with financial expenses, will be looking for other ways to remedy her.

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