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Allahabad HC Directs Name, Gender Change Of A Transgender Person In Educational Records Following UP Education Board's Denial

Sparsh Upadhyay
26 Nov 2021 4:12 PM GMT
Allahabad HC Directs Name, Gender Change Of A Transgender Person In Educational Records Following UP Education Boards Denial
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The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) today directed Uttar Pradesh Government authorities to take immediate steps for change of name and gender of a Transgender in her educational mark-sheets and certificates.The Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary also ordered the issuance of fresh changed mark sheets and certificates to her, as per the certificate issued by the District Magistrate to...

The Allahabad High Court (Lucknow Bench) today directed Uttar Pradesh Government authorities to take immediate steps for change of name and gender of a Transgender in her educational mark-sheets and certificates.

The Bench of Justice Vivek Chaudhary also ordered the issuance of fresh changed mark sheets and certificates to her, as per the certificate issued by the District Magistrate to the petitioner.

Background of the case

Petitioner, with her earlier name as X and gender as male appeared and passed High School in 2011 from the U.P. Board and Intermediate in the year 2013 affiliated to the CISE Board.

The Petitioner was suffering from gender dysphoria and, therefore, underwent gender reassignment surgery in October 2017 from male to female and she got published a gazette notification in respect of change of her name from 'X' to 'Y' and gender from 'male' to 'female'.

Petitioner also got an Aadhar card and pan card issued in her new name and gender i.e. Y female. With the change of name and gender, the petitioner also applied for the change in her High School mark-sheet and certificates, however the same was denied.

The Examination Committee decided that changes of name and gender as requested by the petitioner cannot be made as neither the Intermediate Education Act, 1921 nor regulations framed thereunder contain any such provision.

In the said background, the petitioner approached the High Court seeking directions to respondent no.2 Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Allahabad (U.P.) (U.P. Board) to change name and gender of the petitioner in her matriculation mark-sheet and thereafter, respondent no.3 Council for the Indian Schools Examination, New Delhi (CISE Board) may also change the name and gender in the mark-sheet of intermediate of the petitioner.

Before the Court, the State Counsel argued that with regard to change of gender, the certificate can only be issued under Section 7 of the Act to a person who is having a certificate under Section 6 of the Act.

Essentially, section 6 says that the District Magistrate shall issue to the applicant under section 5, a certificate of identity as a transgender person, and the said certificate shall confer rights and be proof of recognition of his identity as a transgender person.

In this backdrop, it was argued that since the petitioner was not having a certificate under Section 6 [Issue of certificate of identity.] and had changed his gender before coming into the force of the Act, the petitioner is not entitled to apply under Section 7 [Change in gender] of the Act.

Court's order 

Stressing that the very purpose of bringing in force the Act is to provide equality and respect to transgender persons and the Act cannot be given an interpretation which would defeat the very purpose for which the same is brought in force, the Court observed thus:

"Section 7 is required to be interpreted in a manner that the transgender persons who are issued a certificate under Section 6 or persons like petitioner who had undergone the gender reassignment procedure prior to coming into force of the Act, both are held entitled to apply before the District Magistrate for issuance of a certificate indicating change in gender."

Significantly, the Court further added thus:

"Only on the basis of such a certificate issued by the District Magistrate under Section 7 of the Act the transgender person can apply for a change of their birth certificate and other official documents relating to their identity. Denying such a right to persons who had already undergone the gender reassignment procedure would frustrate the very purpose of the Act, as large number of persons would be left out discriminated in the society."

In view of the aforesaid, the petitioner has now been permitted to submit an application under Section 7 of the Act before the District Magistrate and the District Magistrate will have to get the fact of the gender re-assignment verified and on being satisfied issue the required certificate to the petitioner within 60 days.

On the basis of the certificate issued by the District Magistrate, the petitioner has been given the liberty to approach the authorities concerned [Board of High School and Intermediate Education, Allahabad (U.P.) and Council for the Indian Schools Examination, New Delhi (CISE Board)]for changing her educational records and issue her fresh changed mark-sheets and certificates.

Respondent no.2 and 3 have also been directed to take immediate steps for change of name and gender in educational mark-sheets and certificates of the petitioner and issue fresh changed mark-sheets and certificates to her, as per the certificate issued by the District Magistrate to the petitioner. 

 

 (Original name of the petitioner concealed)


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