Change of name is a part of right to expression under article 19 and article 21 of Indian constitution: Allahabad high court

19th Dec

Change of name is a part of right to expression under article 19 and article 21 of Indian constitution: Allahabad high court

The Allahabad high court held that change of name is an expression guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) of the constitution of India.
The single bench led by justice Pankaj Bhatia observed that, the individuals name is an aspect of right of expression, which is guaranteed under article 19(1)(a) along with article 21 of the Indian constitution. The freedom of expression as mentioned under article 19 includes all forms of expressions and name in the present world, it is considered as a clearly strong expression.
The observation was made while hearing a writ petition filed by a boy namely Kabir Jaiswal who had appeared for the class 11 and 12 CBSE exams as Rishu Jaiswal.
The petitioner got a notice published in the gazette of India for changing his name Rishu Jaiswal to Kabir Jaiswal. He claimed that he got this changed in his Aadhar card, PAN card and even got the official gazette notification. But when he tried to get the name changed in his CBSE certificates, the board rejected this request on the grounds that the changed name had not been reflected in the school records.
The petitioner’s counsel, Ram Sagar Yadav, contended that once a gazette notification has been issued without any objections, it has been announced to the world in rem that the petitioner intends to change his name. So, the board has no cause to reject his application for name change in the CBSE certificates.
The court while considering the case, referred to a similar dealt with by the Delhi high court in Rayaan Chawla vs. university of Delhi, wherein the Delhi university on the basis of notification refused to permit the petitioners to have his name changed in the ground that in terms of notification, the student is firstly required to get the name changed in the records of the CBSE.
The court held that, the right enshrined under article 19(1)(a) of the constitution of India are fundamental rights and can be taken away or restricted only in accordance with the procedure prescribed under article 19(2) of the Indian constitution.