Supreme Court directs State Governments and Union Territories to implement the provisions of Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969

Although the Registration of Births and Deaths Act was passed in 1969 and India is signatory to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 which states in Articles 7 that "the child shall be registered immediately after birth" and though the National Population Policy, 2000 set the goal of achieving 100% registrations of birth by 2010, the registration of births and the handing over of birth certificates to children in India remained very low. The National Family Health Survey data (2005-2006) found the birth registration rate only 41% among children below 2 years. Only 15% of such registered children were provided birth certificates. HRLN filed a case (Writ Petition 37 of 2009) in Supreme Court of India on behalf of Committee for Legal Aid to the Poor seeking full implementation of the provisions of Registration of Births and Deaths Act. On September 20,2010, Hon ble Supreme Court37 of 2009 directed States /Union Territories to appoint full time Chief Registrars, to submit their reports annually, as required under the provisions of 1969 Act, to notify all Panchayats and Institutional Delivery Centers such as Hospitals, Nursing Homes, CHCs, PHCs and others as Local Registration Centres under Section 7(1) of the Act, to notify ASHAs, Aanganwadi workers, Dai's and Headmasters of Government schools under Section 10 of 1969 Act and to switchover to the uniform format for Birth Certificates, as suggested by the Registrar General with National Emblem on the said Certificates. During this case, when certain procedural difficulties were observed in the implementation of this Act, the Registrar General and Union of India informed the Court that an amendment is proposed which will substantially improve the implementation of the Act. These directions have been passed in terms of consent minutes, which have been taken on record by the Hon'ble Court.