Every Person Has A Constitutional Right To Change Their Name: Allahabad HC

Every Person Has A Constitutional Right To Change Their Name: Allahabad HC

Prayagraj, May 31 (TNA) In an important decision, the Allahabad High Court has said that according to religion, caste, every person has a fundamental right to choose or change his name. This right is available to all citizens under Article 19(1)A, Article 21 and Article 14 of the Constitution. The rule restricting this right is arbitrary and against the constitution.

The court said, stopping someone from changing his name is a violation of his fundamental rights. The Court held Intermediate Regulation 40 to be contrary to Article 25 which imposes time limits and conditions for name change. Justice Ajay Bhanot gave this order while accepting the petition of MD Sameer Rao. The court has also ordered the Home Secretary of the Government of India and the Chief Secretary of the state to prepare a legal framework in this regard.

The court has quashed the order of the Secretary, Secondary Education Council dated 24 December 2020 rejecting the demand of the petitioner to change the name in the high school and intermediate certificates. Along with this, instructions have been given to change the name of the petitioner to MD Sameer Rao in place of Shahnawaz and issue a new certificate.

The court has directed the petitioner to submit all the documents in the old name to the concerned departments so that they can be issued in the new name and the old documents cannot be misused.

The petitioner converted to religion and applied for name change to the board. The board secretary rejected the application citing rules and time limit. This was challenged in the High Court. The board said that the deadline for changing the name is fixed. There are certain restrictions.

The petitioner has made a lot of delay in filing the application for change of name. The court did not accept this as correct and said that if a person changes his religion and caste, then it becomes necessary to change his name for religious traditions and beliefs and that he or she cannot be stopped from doing so, it is arbitrary. Anyone has the fundamental right to keep a name of his own free will.

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