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Delhi High Court Directs CBSE and DU to be Considerate to Gender Change

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed CBSE and University of Delhi to arrange for a medium for transgenders to attain changes in name and gender, in educational records.

On Wednesday, 20th February 2019, the bench comprising of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao showcased its disapproval to the University of Delhi (DU) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in declining the change of name and gender for a transgender person. It stated that when the Supreme Court had recognised their gender identity, education bodies must rise to the occasion to help.

The bench was hearing a PIL (Personal Interest Litigation) challenging the guidelines of the Centre, DU, and CBSE for the change of name and gender by a person. The petition has contended that the guidelines under challenge are “depriving her of the right to live with dignity and to self-identify her gender which is different from the one assigned at birth.”

This was not agreeable to both the education bodies as CBSE stated that name and gender needed to be changed before the 10th or the 12th grade, and DU responded by stating that to make changes in the University’s records, changes must be made in the school records.

The High Court disapproved of their stand and responded, “You cannot say its history for you. You keep your history, but give her a certificate declaring her changed name and gender. Give a declaration without changing your records. You should understand the practical problems they suffer. If they apply for a passport now, it will be put in objection due to contradiction in her name and gender no and what is shown in their education records. You need to be considerate. You cannot put everyone in one basket and say you won’t do it.”

The court by stating, “let us work out what can be done” further assured the petitioner that her right to gender identity was a Constitutional Right recognised by the Apex Court. It instructed both the statutory bodies to come with solutions with respect to the problem and listed this case for further hearing on 13th March 2019.

Image Credits: World Politics Review

Stephen Mathew

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Anushree Joshi

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(With inputs from The New Indian Express)



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