Cbse & Delhi University Told To Help Transgender Seek Name, Gender Change

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed CBSE and Delhi
University to work out a way to help a transgender who is seeking change of
name and gender, from male to female, in education records.

CBSE
and Delhi University contended that once a student has left the institution,
his or her past records cannot be changed thereafter.

Coming to her aid, a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon
and Justice V. K. Rao expressed displeasure with the CBSE and DU for declining
to change her name and gender, saying that when the Supreme Court has recognized
their right to declare their gender identity, statutory bodies like the
education board and the varsity “have to rise to the occasion to help
her”.

The Board has taken the stand that request for such
changes in its records would be entertained only if it is made before
publication of the 10th or 12th results, while DU norms say that for change of
name and gender, the same have to be first altered in the CBSE records.

Disapproving of the stand taken by the two statutory
bodies, the bench said: “You cannot say it is 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 (transgenders) suffer.

“If they apply for a passport now, it will be put in
objection due to contradiction in their names and gender now and what is shown
in their education records. You need to be considerate. You cannot put everyone
in one basket and say that you won’t do it.”

Justice Menon also said that he has seen various varsities
issuing duplicate mark sheets displaying the original and changed names, in
cases where a woman gets married after passing out from the university.

The court assured the petitioner that her right to gender
identity was a constitutional right which has been recognized by the top court
and said “let us work out what can be done”.

It directed the lawyers for CBSE and DU to take
instructions on how it can be worked out and listed the matter for further
hearing on March 13.

The bench was hearing a plea challenging the guidelines of
the Centre, DU and CBSE for change of name and gender by a person.

The Department of Publications of the Centre requires that
a sex reassignment surgery be undergone before change of name and gender.

The petitioner was assigned the male gender at birth but
identifies self as a transgender, her petition, filed through advocate Yashraj
Singh Deora, has said.

It has alleged that the criteria laid down by the
authorities for change of name and gender are “arbitrary and
unreasonable”.

It has referred to a Supreme Court decision of 2014 in the
NALSA case wherein it was held that insistence on a sex reassignment surgery
for declaring one’s gender was illegal and immoral.

The petitioner 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”.

Reported by NDTV

~Preksha Mishra

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Source: DU UPDATES