first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi High Court Holds “To Have A Name And Express The Same” Is Protected Under Articles 19 & 21, Allows DU Student’s Plea Shreya Agarwal6 Nov 2020 8:54 PMShare This – xIn a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court today while hearing a DU student’s plea, held that “to have a name and express the same” is protected under Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution and allowed the student petitioner before it to change his name, stating that “normally a person would have a right to have his name changed subject to fulfilment of…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court today while hearing a DU student’s plea, held that “to have a name and express the same” is protected under Articles 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution and allowed the student petitioner before it to change his name, stating that “normally a person would have a right to have his name changed subject to fulfilment of appropriate formalities/procedures to ensure that there is no misuse or confusion created on account of the change in name.” Referring to a resolution by the Executive Council which mandated change of name on CBSE/State Board Certificates before changing them on the University’s register, the single judge bench of Justice Jayant Nath held that the Delhi University Executive Council’s Resolution on the procedure for name change had been misinterpreted by the University. The Court stated that it was a “misplaced interpretation” of law by the University to demand that though the petitioner’s name was being changed in 2019, he must first also get certificates issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in 2018, changed. Holding the University’s interpretation of the law as untenable, the Court said that, “a meaningful interpretation” had to be given to the Notifications dated 01.07.2015 and 16.12.2015 and the Resolution of Executive Council, so that they do not seek or do “not direct the petitioner to perform an impossible task.” The facts of the case are that Rayaan Singh, the petitioner, is a 20-year old 3rd year student pursuing B.A.(Hons.) Philosophy at Hindu College, which is affiliated to the Delhi University. Born on 30.06.2000, he was named ‘Rayaan Singh’ by his parents, Ms.Payal Chawla and Mr.Mandeep Singh and passed out from Modern School, Barakhambha Road, New Delhi, which is affiliated to CBSE, with the same name. ‘Rayaan Singh’ was also the name on which certificates were issued by CBSE for the 10th and 12th Class. He then joined Hindu College in B.A.(Hons.) Philosophy affiliated with Delhi University with the same name. The petitioner stated that he wanted to give up his paternal surname and change his name to Rayaan Chawla, as he had never enjoyed any form of constructive relationship with his father and was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents. Further, the petitioner had been in sole custody of his mother since 2007, when his parents had separated, till he attained majority, with his father having given up his natural guardianship. In the process of name change the petitioner stated that DU officials had returned his application citing non-compliance with the notification dated 1.7.2015 read with notification dated 16.12.2015, according to which, it was said to be mandatory for the students desirous of seeking change of name to get their name changed from CBSE/other State Boards first. It was also stated that CBSE considers name change applications only before publication of result of the candidate. Therefore, the petitioner had moved this court. DU opposed the petition stating that, its Executive Council was a statutory body whose resolutions have the force of law, and that getting the name changed from CBSE/State Boards first was mandatory, and that with his parents having been divorced in 2015, and while appearing for his 10th and 12th Boards, the petitioner was in knowledge of the law and could not be allowed to impugn it now. DU further stated that, “The petitioner cannot have two different names i.e. Rayaan Singh for 10th and 12 Class Certificates and Rayaan Chawla for the graduation degree. The University of Delhi has put this condition so as to maintain continuity and uniformity in the educational credentials of a student.” Relying on the judgment of the Kerala High Court in Kailash Gupta v. CBSE, 2020 SCC OnLine Ker 1590, the Delhi High Court held that, “to have a name and to express the same in the manner he wishes, is a part of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 (1) (a) as well as right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It cannot be denied that the right to change a name is a protected right and the petitioner would normally be not denied the said right on technical issues.” Further relying on the case of Abhishek Kumar v. Union of India & Ors., 2014 SCC OnLine Del 3459, the Court ruled in favour of the petitioner and said that the demand by DU to first get the name changed in the records of CBSE/Certificates issued by CBSE is a misplaced demand as it would create a discrepancy and reflect a status which did not exist at the time of issuance of the original certificates, and that the change of name could not be with retrospective effect.Click Here To Download Order[Read Order]Next Storylast_img read more