Can Women Be Sacked For Parental Address On Documents? SC To Decide

The apex court of India will be hearing a plea to decide whether working women are required to change the address on their identity documents post-marriage. The plea was filed by a woman who was fired on these grounds.

Tanya Savkoor
New Update
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An Anganwadi worker who belongs to a Scheduled Tribe was fired for not having changed the address on her identity documents from her parental home to her marital home. Dhanmati Naik had put in 15 years of service as an Anganwadi worker in her native village, Dudukidadar, Odisha. Naik stated that she and her husband stay with her ailing parents at their home, and her husband travels daily for work, so there was no reason to change her residence under the circumstances. However, the matter has reached the apex court of India to decide whether it was fair for her to be sacked.


A three-judge Bench headed by Justice B.R. Gavai is scheduled to hear the plea today, whether a woman is required, by law, to change her address from her parental address to her marital address. The petitioner is represented by advocate Tomy Chacko.

Supreme Court To Decide

Adv. Chacko addressed in the Court, "The pertinent question is whether a married woman can be presumed to have disowned her residential rights at her parental home for the purpose of selection and appointment to the post of Anganwadi workers despite having a valid election identity card, the Tahsildar’s residence certificate in Dudukidadar village, and having resided there from birth and after marriage along with her husband to take care of her parents since there are no male heirs in the family."

Naik said that her termination from the job, which enjoyed and deserved, was a violation of her right to lead a dignified life. The plea referred to a Madras High Court decision in October 2023, in the case of G. Mayakannan vs Cuddalore District Collector, which said that people may leave their parental home for work or education but may choose to still “consider” their native place as their permanent residence.

“There is a notion that a married woman abandons her native place and assumes her husband’s place as her only place of residence. If a married woman chooses to live between her natal home and marital home on account of her employment, business or otherwise, nothing can prevent her from exercising her option. To retain or waive the native address is at the will [of] only a married woman or her family members in certain circumstances,” the petition says, quoting the Madras High Court order.

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