Delhi High Court tells DU, CBSE to help transgender students seeking change in name, gender

New Delhi, Feb 22: CBSE and Delhi University (DU) have been directed by the Delhi High Court to help transgender students who want to change name and gender in educational records. This is after a female petitioner has filed a plea.

Court expressed displeasure with CBSE and DU

A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao is against the decision of DU and CBSE for declining to change the students’ gender and name. They said that statutory bodies like the education board and the varsity “have to rise to the occasion to help” after the Supreme Court has also identified their right for declaring their gender identity.

The past records of the students cannot be changed after a student has left the institution, CBSE and DU contended.

CBSE has stated that such requests for the changes in its records will only be considered if it is submitted before publication of Class 12 or Class 10 results, whereas according to the DU norms, the change of name and gender will only be done if the same has been first altered in the CBSE records.

“Give a declaration without changing your records,” suggests bench

The bench has disapproved the stand taken by the two statutory bodies. It 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 the 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 said that there are various universities that issue duplicate mark sheets mentioning the original and changed names when a woman gets married after passing out from the varsity.

The petitioner has been assured by the court that her right to gender identity is a constitutional right that been identified by the top court. “Let us work out what can be done,” the court said.

The next hearing is on March 13. In the meantime, the court has directed the lawyers for DU and CBSE for taking instructions regarding how it can be worked out.