The Delhi High Court has recently underscored the fundamental significance of an individual's right to be identified by their name and as the offspring of their parents.

The Court made this observation while adjudicating on a Writ Petition seeking a modification in the name of the Petitioner's father on her Classes 10 and 12 Central Board of School Education (CBSE) marksheets.

While referring to a Supreme Court's Judgment in Jigya Yadav v. CBSE (2021), the Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar observed, "the Court has to adopt a realistic approach in such cases, keeping in mind the pre-eminent consideration, repeatedly emphasized in Jigya Yadav that a name is an identity marker, and that the right to be identified by one’s name, as also as the daughter or son of parents whose name is correctly mentioned, is fundamental to one’s very identity as an individual."

The Court noted that the name recorded in the CBSE certificates did not correspond to the petitioner's father's name, as she had provided her uncle's name during registration due to her father's demise. Despite discrepancies in the spelling of the Petitioner's father's name across various public documents, the Court emphasized that a name serves as a crucial identity marker. It advocated for a pragmatic approach, rather than a rigidly technical one, in such matters.

"In the present case, there is another, apparent, reason why the Court has to be pragmatic in its approach," the Court said.

Taking into consideration documents such as Aadhaar and domicile, the Court affirmed the difficulty in maintaining doubts regarding the petitioner's father's name. The Court also acknowledged that transliteration from vernacular to English might result in spelling variations.

"The Court cannot be hyper-technical in such matters and start rejecting the prayer for correction merely because of a slight difference in the spelling between ‘Shrivastav’ and ‘Shrivastava’," the court added.

Consequently, while allowing the Writ Petition, the Court directed the CBSE to promptly issue revised Class-10 and Class-12 marksheets to the Petitioner, accurately reflecting her father's name. Acknowledging the minor spelling discrepancies, the Court also directed the Petitioner to furnish an Affidavit to the CBSE confirming the correct name and indemnifying the board accordingly.

"The petitioner is directed to contact the CBSE along with the requisite affidavit and documents and pay the appropriate fee within one week from today, whereafter the CBSE shall comply with this order within four weeks thereof," the Court ordered.

Cause Title: Pragati Shrivastava v. The Secretary, Central Board of Secondary Education and Anr. [W.P.(C) 11250/2021]


Petitioner: Advocate Anilendra Kant Srivastava

Respondent: Advocates Ashok Kumar, Chhavi Arora, Romy Chacko, Sachin Singh Dalal

Click here to read/download the Order