Delhi HC Directs DU to Change Student’s Name Without Insisting for Modification in CBSE Records

DU student Rayaan Singh of Hindu College sought to change his name to ‘Rayaan Chawla’ in DU records but was asked to first effect the same change in his CBSE certificates by the varsity. Owing to the ‘impossibility’ of such a requirement, Delhi HC has directed DU to accept the change.

On Friday, the Delhi High Court has directed the University of Delhi to accommodate a change in one of its students’ name without requesting for a change in their Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) record. The student in question, Rayaan Singh from Hindu College, sought to change his name to ‘Rayaan Chawla’ in DU records and had contacted the responsible authorities for the same. The University, however, asked for a change in his CBSE records. This led to him challenging DU’s notification of 2015 which necessarily mandates that for a change in the university records, the change must first be effected in the certificate issued by the CBSE board.

Subsequently, the court announced that such a requirement would be asking for the impossible. Justice Jayant Nath also said that the student in question has passed from 12th grade in 2018, and was seeking a change of name in the 2019 while he was already a college student and thus, such a demand from the varsity was ‘a misplaced requirement and cannot be accepted’.

The student desired to adopt his mother’s surname owing to his parents’ separation in 2007 and subsequent divorce in 2015, and as he further mentioned in his petition, he “never enjoyed any form of constructive relationship” with his father. Moreover, he already published a declaration regarding his change on name in two newspapers and the Gazette of India.

The varsity claimed that the student had sufficient time for his change of name as his parents divorced in 2015 and he cleared his 12th board exams only in 2018. The court, however, did not agree with the varsity, and commented, “When CBSE issued the documents, the petitioner had the original name, ‘Rayaan Singh’”.

The same cannot be changed now as in 2018 when the petitioner finished his class 12th, he was known as ‘Rayaan Singh’. “The law would not require the petitioner to perform the impossible. The insistence of respondent No. 1 (DU) to first get the name changed in the records of CBSE is a misplaced requirement and cannot be accepted.”

Justice Nath further stated that in his discretion, as the change of name is with effect from August-September last year i.e. significantly after the student’s completion of 10th and 12th classes and issuance of certificates, the varsity cannot insist the that student should get his name changed in the records of CBSE.

“It is ordered accordingly,” the court said and added that in order to avoid confusion between the names in the CBSE and DU certificates, the varsity can show the student’s name as — ‘changed name alias/nee earlier name’.

“It would be appropriate that respondent No. 1 University of Delhi may change the name of the petitioner in their records/in the degree that may be given in future to the petitioner as above.

It added: “Such a course of action would avoid any confusion in the two names, which would be seen on the records of CBSE and of University of Delhi/appropriate documents issued by the said entities.

“In the facts and circumstances, it is accordingly directed that respondent No. 1/University of Delhi may change the name of the petitioner in their records accordingly as noted above.

Featured Image Credit: National Herald

Sushrut Yadav