The right to choose a name that you like is part of the right to liberty: Kerala HC

KOCHI: The right of a person to choose a name that he likes is part of the right to freedom of expression and expression under Article 19, he has argued. The government or authorities cannot unreasonably deny such an election, the court held.

The ruling was issued by the courts while ruling against CBSE on a petition (WP-C No. 7489/2020) filed by a 17-year-old Mattancherry student through an advocate. By the time the student changed the name with the state government, two more results had come out. Since CBSE declined to allow the name change in its records and the student had to pursue higher education, a petition was filed and the court overheard the case via video conference over the holidays considering the urgency.

In the judgment, the court said: The name is something very personal for an individual. The name is an expression of individuality, identity and uniqueness. Name is the way in which an individual expresses himself to the world in general. It is the basis on which it moves in a civil society. In a democracy, the free expression of one's name in the way you prefer is a facet of individual law. In our country, having a name and expressing it in the way that he wishes, is certainly a part of the right to freedom of expression and expression under Article 19 (1) (a), as well as a part of the right to freedom under of the Indian Constitution. State or its instruments cannot hinder the use of any name preferred by an individual or by any name change in one of his choice, except to the extent prescribed in Article 19 (2) or by a law that is just, fair and reasonable. Subject to the limited reasons for control and regulation of fraudulent or criminal activities or other valid causes, a bona fide claim for a name change should be allowed without hesitation in the records maintained by the Authorities.