Allahabad HC stated citizens have freedom to keep or change their names as they see fittext_fields
Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has held that it is constitutionally protected for people to keep or change their names in accordance with their personal choices.
The statement was delivered by Justice Ajay Bhanot in response to a writ case brought by a man named Sameer Rao who was contesting the UP Madhyamik Siksha Parishad's denial of his request to have his name changed on his high school and intermediate examination certificate.
The high court directed the UP Madhyamik Siksha Parishad to allow the petitioner to change his name from “Shahnawaz” to “Mohammad Sameer Rao” and issue fresh high school and intermediate certificates incorporating the change, PTI reported.
“The authorities arbitrarily rejected the application for change of name and misdirected themselves in law. The action of the authorities violates the fundamental rights of the petitioner guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a), Article 21 and Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” the court said.
The name of the petitioner was recorded as “Shahnawaz” in the examination certificates issued in 2013 and 2015 respectively. In 2020, the petitioner publicly disclosed that his name has been changed from “Shahnawaz” to “Mohammad Sameer Rao”.
Thereafter, he applied for changing his name on the certificates which was declined by the regional secretary of the Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad’s Bareilly office. Following this, the petitioner moved to court.