The Supreme Court on Thursday has issued guidelines for Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to process applications for change or correction in certificates issued by the Board.
The Court was hearing petitions challenging the CBSE bar on students for correction in name/surname/date of birth of candidates or their parents in the certificates issued by the Board.
A three-judge bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Krishna Murari directed CBSE to take immediate steps to amend its bye-laws to incorporate such guidelines for recording a change or correction in certificates already issued or to be issued by it.
“Identity, therefore, is an amalgam of various internal and external including acquired characteristics of an individual and name can be regarded as one of the foremost indicators of identity. And therefore, an individual must be in complete control of her name and law must enable her to retain as well as to exercise such control freely “for all times”. Such control would inevitably include the aspiration of an individual to be recognized by a different name for a just cause. Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution provides for a guaranteed right to freedom of speech and expression.” the 132-page judgment reads.
Further, the bench stated, “we direct the CBSE to process the applications for correction or change, as the case may be, in the certificate issued by it in the respective cases under consideration. Even other pending applications and future applications for such request be processed on the same lines and in particular the conclusion and directions recorded hitherto in paragraphs 170 and 171, as may be applicable, until amendment of relevant Byelaws.”
CBSE is open to reject the application in the event the period for preservation of official records under the extant regulations had expired and no record of the candidate concerned is traceable or can be reconstructed. In the case of subsequent amendment of school records, that may occur due to different reasons including because of choice exercised by the candidate regarding change of name.