Published on: August 3rd, 2022 at 19:29 IST
In a recent case, the Allahabad High Court held that the right to change name can not be denied to a person since it is also a facet under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution as a Fundamental Right.
The Court was hearing a plea filed by a woman who denied the change of her name by the U.P. Secondary Education Board.
About the Case:
The petitioner, Rajni Shrivastava applied for change of name to Rashmi Shrivastava. She got the same published in the newspapers. Therefore, the necessary changes were made in her Aadhar card and Permanent Account Number (PAN). However, the changes did not match with those made in her Aadhar Card, PAN Card, and the Bank Account on one hand as with that of the High School Certificate, the Intermediate Certificate, and the Graduation Certificate. The educational certificates recorded her name as Rajni Shrivastava. Resultantly, she made an application for the change of name which was rejected by the U.P. Secondary Education Board as well as the University authorities. The reason for rejection provided by University authorities was that the required change had not been made in the Petitioner’s high school records.
The board reasoned that as per provisions in Chapter III Regulation 7 of the Intermediate Education Act 1921, the request of the petitioner was beyond the prescribed limitation. Therefore, the petitioner approached the High Court with her writ plea.
The Bench of Justice Pankaj Bhatia directed the authorities that the required changes in the petitioner’s name be made.
It was held that the right to change the name is a facet of a fundamental right, under Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution. It made a reference to the case of Kabir Jaiswal v. Union of India & Ors. and Jigya Yadav vs. CBSE noting that the above right being a component of fundamental rights, can not be denied.
The Court also made reference of the 2014 judgement of Anand Singh vs. U.P. Board of Secondary Education and others case, where the respondent had cited its limitation.
The Bench directed that, “On receiving such application, the respondent no.2 is directed to carry out the desired change of name in the mark sheet and Certificate. However, it is clarified that in the fresh certificate and mark-sheet issued to the petitioner, it would contain the name ‘Rashmi Srivastava alias/nee, Rajni Shrivastava The said exercise shall be completed by the respondent no.2 within six weeks from the date of filing of the application.”
Resultantly, the Court asked the petitioner to file an application afresh and directed the education board to make the desired changes within a period of six weeks.