Change of name is part of Right to Expression: High Court

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The Allahabad High Court has held that change of name is a part of right to expression guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India. Allowing a writ petition filed by one Kabir Jaiswal, Justice Pankaj Bhatia observed, “As the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution, freedom of expression through the change of name cannot be denied to the petitioner in the present case and he is entitled to change his name.”

The Court also directed the CBSE to issue a fresh certificate recording the name of the petitioner as Kabir Jaiswal in place of Rishu Jaiswal within a period of two months.

According to the petitioner, he had appeared in the Secondary School Examination in the academic year 2011-13, i.e., Class-X, and Senior School Certificate Examination in the year 2015, i.e., Class-XII, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi in the name of Rishu Jaiswal, son of Santosh Kumar Jaiswal and had passed the said examinations also.

Later, the petitioner with an intent to change his name from Rishu Jaiswal to Kabir Jaiswal, got a notice published in the notification in the Gazette of India and moved an application for correction of the name from Rishu Jaiswal to Kabir Jaiwal. In the petition, the petitioner claims that the name was changed in the Aadhaar card and the PAN card also in pursuance to the Gazette Notification.

However, when the petitioner moved an application through the school concerned for change of name in the certificates, the Board vide order dated May 27, 2020, rejected the application for change of name on the ground that the particulars of the school records do not show the change of name as sought by the petitioner.

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