Kerela High Court bench consisting of Justice Bechu Kurian Joseph heard a petition. The issue in the petition was with regard to the changed name of the petitioner. The Bench observed that to have a name and express the same is a part right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) and right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Facts of the Petition
The petitioner wished to change his name and applied for the same. Thereafter, the State of Kerela affected a gazette notification in 2017 to give effect to the application. The petitioner wrote her All India Secondary School Examination before the process of changing the name was complete. However, the school authorities changed the name in accordance with the certificates produced. Subsequently, the authorities applied to the CBSE for change of name. The CBSE refused to change the name. The refusal was on the ground of Rule no. 69 (1)(i) of Examination bye-laws. It stated that change of name could not be effected because petitioner had already written her exams.
High Court’s Take
The court observed that “the state or its instrumentalities cannot stand in the way of use of any name preferred by an individual”. Furthermore, clause 69(1)(i) contemplated two situations. Firstly, where the change of name is before publication; Secondly, where the court directs to do so. In the present case, the publication of change of name in government gazette was on 12.12.2017. The result of the petitioner was to be declared on 29.05.2018. Thus, the case fell in the first situation. Accordingly, the Court directed the Regional Officer, CBSE, Thiruvananthapuram to correct the name of the petitioner within a period of six weeks