Right to Seek Correction / Change of Name in the Birth Register is a Fundamental Right [JUDGMENT]

Registration of Births & Deaths Act, 1969 - An individual can certainly claim a right both in common law as well as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India for effectuating change of name if he so bona fide desires for such change of name.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM
ALEXANDER THOMAS, J.
W.P(C).No.2080 Of 2011
Dated this the 25th day of May, 2018.
PETITIONER
MATHEW ALEX
BY ADVS.SRI.RAJEEV V.KURUP SRI.ALEX.M.SCARIA 
RESPONDENT(S)
1. THE KANJIRAPPALLY GRAMA PANCHAYATH, REPRESENTED BY ITS SECRETARY, KANJIRAPPALLY GRAMA PANCHAYATH, KANJIRAPPALLY-686 507.
2. REGISTRAR OF BIRTH & DEATH, KANJIRAPPALLY GRAMA PANCHAYATH, KANJIRAPPALLY-686 507.
3. THE STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY ITS DISTRICT COLLECTOR, KOTTAYAM-686 002.
R1 & R2 BY ADVS. SRI.V.K.SUNIL SMT.NIMA JACOB R3 BY SENIOR GOVERNMENT PLEADER SRI.SAIGI JACOB PALATTY
J U D G M E N T
The petitioner is aggrieved by the impugned Ext.P-9 proceedings dated 16.9.2010 issued by the 2nd respondent-Registrar of Births and Deaths of the 1st respondent-Kanjirappally Grama Panchayath, whereby the request made by him as per Ext.P-6 for change of his name in the Birth Register has been rejected. The main prayers in this Writ Petition (Civil) filed on 19.1.2011 are as follows: 
“A] Issue an order quashing Exbt.P9 after calling for the production of the records pursuant to which Exbt.P9 is passed.
B] Issue a direction or order directing the 2nd respondent to correct the name of the petitioner in the birth register kept by it pertaining to the petitioner in accordance with the name shown in the school admission register-Exbt.P2.” 
2. Heard Sri.Rajeev V.Kurup, learned counsel for the petitioner, Sri.V.K.Sunil, learned counsel appearing for R-1 & R-2 and Sri.Saigi Jacob Palatty, learned Senior Government Pleader appearing for R-3 State.


3. As per the averments in the Writ Petition, at the time of the birth of the petitioner, he was given the pet name as “Albin” by his parents and his name was entered as “Albin Alex” before the 2nd respondent-Registrar of Births and Deaths. This can be seen from a perusal of Ext.P-1, wherein it is shown that the name of the child is shown as “Albin Alex” and his date of birth is 30.12.1996 and birth was registered with the 2nd respondent on 31.12.1996 and the names of the father and mother of the child are “Alex Mathew” and “Ancy Alex”, etc. Ext.P-1 is the Certificate of Birth issued on 26.3.1997 by the 2nd respondent Registrar of Births and Deaths of the 1st respondent- Kanjirappally Grama Panchayath, Kottayam District. As the name of the paternal grandfather of the petitioner is “Mathew”, petitioner's parents, had given him the baptismal name as “Mathew” as can be seen from Ext.P-3 baptismal certificate dated 10.4.1997 issued by the parish concerned. Ext.P-4 would show that a male child was born on 30.12.1996 to “Smt.Ancy Alex, W/o. Alex Mathew”. The petitioner's name in the school register at the time of admission in the school was entered as “Mathew Alex”, the first name denoting his baptismal name taken from the name of his paternal grandfather and surname which shows the name of the child's father. The petitioner and his parents have been advised that in the future it may be necessary that his name as entered in the school register has to be shown in the birth register after requisite correction as otherwise it would have problems at the time of issuance of Passport as the Passport authorities certainly insist for production of birth certificate and if there are divergences in the name of the applicant concerned as shown in the birth register from the other records like school records, etc., they would insist for change of name in the birth register. Frequent problems would also arise when applications for foreign visa are submitted, whereby many of the Foreign Governments may insist for placing reliance on the name of the candidate concerned as shown in the birth register. In these circumstances, Ext.P-6 application was submitted on behalf of the petitioner-minor through his father and guardian Sri.Alex Mathew on 3.9.2010 before the 2nd respondent-Registrar of Births and Deaths requesting for correction/change of name in Ext.P-1 birth certificate. It was pointed out in Ext.P-6 that immediately after his birth on 30.12.1996, petitioner's pet name was given as “Albin” and it is in these circumstances, his name was shown as “Albin Alex” in the request in that regard submitted before the Registrar of Births on 31.12.1996, which led to the issuance of Ext.P-1 birth certificate dated 26.3.1997, wherein the name of the petitioner was shown as “Albin Alex”. It was only later that baptism was conducted and his first name was chosen as “Mathew”, which is taken from his paternal grandfather and hence the petitioner's name was entered in the school records as “Mathew Alex” and not as “Albin Alex”. Ext.P-6 has been accompanied by Ext.P-7 affidavit dated 3.9.2010, which was sworn to by both the parents of the petitioner. The petitioner places reliance on para 2 of clause (6) on Ext.P-8 circular issued by the Directorate of Panchayath, wherein it is clearly stated that where at the time of birth, a pet name is given to the child, which is entered in the birth register, then it is certainly open to the parents to make an application so as to show the name which has been given to the child subsequently. The 2nd respondent-Registrar has rejected the plea made as per Ext.P-6 by the impugned Ext.P-9 order dated 16.9.2010 on the ground that once the name is entered in the birth register, there is no provision for alteration or correction of the name of the holder of the birth certificate. However, it is stated in Ext.P-9 order that the 2nd respondent is prepared to correct Ext.P-1 birth certificate by showing that “Mathew Alex” as the 'alias' name of the petitioner whereby the entry of the name of the petitioner as per the corrected version of Ext.P-1 could be shown as “Albin Alex alias Mathew Alex”. It is this order at Ext.P-6 that is under challenge in this Writ Petition.
4. The Writ Petition filed on 19.1.2011 was admitted on 20.1.2011 and notice has been duly served on R-1 & R-2. Till date, R-1 & R-2 have not chosen to file counter affidavit in this case.
5. The matter in this regard is no longer res integra and it is fully covered in favour of the petitioner by virtue of various judgments of this Court. This Court in the judgment in Sivanandan v. Registrar of Births & Deaths , reported in 2007 (3) KLT 72, has held that it is fully within the competent power of the Registrar of Births & Deaths to correct an error even if it is an error in form or in substance and even if the guidelines for the exercise of the said power are absent, the Registrar of Births & Deaths, being a statutory public authority is bound to act in terms of justice, equity and good conscience and to follow the principles of natural justice and other recognised canons for the exercise of statutory power. In Sivanandan's case (supra), the name of the applicant concerned was shown as “Samal” in the birth register concerned, which was sought to be corrected and this Court set aside the impugned rejection order and had directed reconsideration of the said request in the light of the observation and legal principles laid down in the said judgment. In the case in Shipna Jose v. Registrar , reported in 2010 (2) KLT 978, the child was initially given the name “Reetha” when the details were reported before the Registrar of Births and accordingly, the name of the child was registered as “Reetha” in the birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths. However, when the parents had got the child admitted in the school, her name was shown as “Shipna Jose”. The plea for correction of the name in the birth register was rejected by the Registrar. This Court after placing reliance on the legal principles laid down by the Division Bench in the judgment in Chalakkudy Municipality v. Malavika , reported in 2009 (4) KLT 714, held that the order passed by the Registrar rejecting the application for correction/alteration of the name of the applicant concerned in the birth register is illegal and bad and had set aside the same and had directed to allow the correction on being satisfied that it requires correction.
6. In the judgment in Chalakkudy Municipality v. Malavika , reported in 2009 (4) KLT 714, the Division Bench dealt with a case where the appellant Municipality therein was approached by the writ petitioner therein for correction of the name of the father of the petitioner as entered in the register of births. The applicant's father's name was entered as “Sajeev N.Nair” in the birth register issued to the applicant concerned based on the submission of information in that regard before that Municipality. The actual name of the father of the petitioner therein was “Sajeev Velappan Nair ” and application was made before the Registrar of Births & Deaths to correct the entries in the birth certificate so as to correctly show the name of the father of the petitioner as “Sajeev Velappan Nair”. The said plea was rejected by the Registrar of Births & Deaths and being aggrieved by the orders issued by the learned Single Judge regarding requisite correction, the appellant Chalakudy Municipality had preferred intra court appeal before this Court. In that Writ Appeal, the Division Bench has rendered the above said judgment dated 9.11.2009, reported in 2009 (4) KLT 714. After elaborate consideration of the various provisions in the Registration of Births & Deaths Act, 1969, more particularly, Secs.14 & 15 and Rules 10 & 11, etc., the Division Bench observed that law is for man and not man for law and that it is not merely letter of the law but spirit of law and once this principle is properly understood, it is not difficult to understand in the interpretation process. It was categorically declared by the Division Bench in the above said judgment that the provisions contained in the Registration of Births & Deaths Act, do not create or extinguish any right and the said Act is intended only to regulate the process and procedures of registration of births and deaths and the correction of any such entry. It was observed that Sec.15 deals with correction or errors in form and substance and that there is sufficient power even as per Sec.15 to correct not only error in the form, but also errors in substance and that it is mandatory on the part of the Registrar to make requisite enquiry to examine the bonafides and correctness of the plea made and on being satisfied that the entry is erroneous, the rule mandates that correction should be made in the Register, etc. After elaborate consideration of the various aspects of the matter, the Division Bench held that the plea made by the applicant therein has been rightly allowed by the Single Judge and the judgment impugned does not require any interdiction in intra court appeal. Sec.10 of the above Act reads as follows: 
Sec.10. Duty of certain persons to notify births and deaths and to certify cause of death.-(1) It shall be the duty of- (i) The midwife or any other medical or health attendant at a birth or death.
(ii) The keeper or the owner of a place set apart for the disposal of dead bodies or any person required by a local authority to be present at such place, or (iii) Any other person whom the State Government may specify in this behalf by his designation, to notify every birth or death or both at which he or she attended or was present, or which occurred in such areas as may by prescribed, to the Registrar within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.
(2) In any area, the State Government, having regard to the facilities available therein in this behalf, may require that a certificate as to the cause of death shall be obtained by the Registrar from such person and in such form as may be prescribed.
(3) Where the State Government has required under Sub- Section (2) that a certificate as to the cause of death shall be obtained, in the event of the death of any persons who, during his last illness, was attended by a medical practitioner, the medical practitioner shall, after the death of that person, forth with, issue without charging any fee, to the person required under this Act to give information concerning the death, a certificate in the prescribed form stating to the best of his knowledge and belief the cause of death; and the certificate shall be received and delivered by such person to the Registrar at the time of giving information concerning the death as required by this Act.” 
Sec.15 of the Act reads as follows: 
Sec.15. Correction or cancellation of entry in the register of births and deaths.- If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Registrar that any entry of a birth or death in any register kept by him under this Act is erroneous in form or substance, or has been fraudulently or improperly made, he may, subject to such rules as may be made by the State Government with respect to the conditions on which and the circumstances in which such entries may be corrected or cancelled, correct the error or cancel the entry by suitable entry in the margin, without any alteration of the original entry, and shall sign the marginal entry and add thereto the date of the correction or cancellation.” 
By virtue of the enabling provisions conferred as per the above Act, the Kerala Registration of Births & Deaths Rules, 1999, have been framed. Rule 10 of the said Rules provides as follows: 
“Rule.10. Period for the purpose of Section 14.-- (1) Where the birth of any child had been registered without a name, the parent or guardian of such child shall, within 12 months from the date of registration of the birth of child, give information regarding the name of the child to the Registrar either orally or in writing: Provided that if the information is given after the aforesaid period of twelve months, which shall be reckoned, subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of section 23; (i) in case where the registration had been made prior to the date of commencemnet of the Kerala Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Rules, 2015, within five year period from the date of commencemnet of the Kerala Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Rules, 2015; or (ii) in case where the registration is made after the date of commencment of the Kerala Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment ) Rules, 2015, within the period of fifteen years from the date of such registration (a) If the register is in his possession forthwith, enter the name in the relevant column of concerned form in the birth register on payment of a late fee of rupees five; or (b) if the register is not in his possession and if the information is given orally, make a report giving necessary particulars, and if the information is given in writing, forward the same to the officer specified by the State Government in this behalf for making the necessary entry on payment of a late fee of rupees five.
(2) The parent or the guardian, as the case may be, shall also present to the Registrar the copy of the extract given to him under section 12 or a certified extract issued to him under section 17 and on such presentation the Registrar shall make the necessary endorsement relating to the name of the child.” 
Rule 11 provides as follows: 
Rule.11. Correction or cancellation of entry in the register of births and deaths.- (1) If it is reported to the Registrar that a clerical or formal error has been made in the register or if such error is otherwise noticed by him the Registrar shall enquire into the matter and if he is satisfied that any such error has been made, he shall correct the error (by correcting or cancelling the entry) as provided in section 15 and shall send an extract of the entry showing the error and how it has been corrected to the State Government or the officer specified by it in this behalf.
(2) If any person asserts that any entry in the register of births and deaths is erroneous in substance, the Registrar may correct the entry in the manner prescribed under section 15 upon production by that person a declaration setting forth the nature of the error and true facts of the case made by two credible persons having knowledge of the facts of the case.
(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1) and sub-rule (2) the Registrar shall make report of any correction of the kind referred to therein giving necessary details to the State Government or the officer specified in this behalf.
(4) If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Registrar that any entry in the register of births and deaths has been fraudulently or improperly made, he shall make a report giving necessary details to the officer authorised by the Chief Registrar by general or special order in this behalf under section 25 and on hearing from him take necessary action in the matter.
(5) In every case in which an entry is corrected or cancelled under this rule, intimation thereof should be sent to the permanent address of the person who has given information under section 8 or section 9.” 
A bare perusal of Sec.15 of the Act would make it clear that where there is an error in the entries regarding the birth or death and such error is in form or in substance or whether such entries have been fraudulently or improperly made, then power is conferred on the Registrar to ensure that such entries may be corrected or cancelled and to correct the error or cancel the entry by suitable entry in the margin as envisaged in Sec.15. A perusal of Rule 11(1) makes it clear that it deals with cases where error is in form. Rule 11(2) deals with situation of cases where the error is in substance. Sub Rule (4) of Rule 11 deals with cases where any entries have been caused fraudulently or improperly made. So even if there is an error in substance there is adequate power within the discretion conferred with the Registrar for considering the plea for correction. The said power conferred as per the provisions of the Act is coupled with a discretion and the Registrar has to act fairly and properly after making effective and diligent enquiries into the plea made by applicants concerned. It cannot be rejected arbitrarily on the ground that there are no provisions for any such correction.
7. Therefore, from a perusal of various provisions in the Act and Rules, more particularly, Sec.15, it can be seen that 4 contingencies are to be regulated in the manner stipulated in Sec.15 as well as Rule 11. There could be many a case which fall outside the contingencies explicitly contemplated in Sec.15. Where there is an error in form or in substance in the certificate of birth and death on account of the information supplied by the parties concerned or on account of the action of the officials concerned, then those two scenarios are covered by Sec.15 of the Act. So also, where the error in the entries in the birth and death is on account of fraud or improper action then also those 2 contingencies are covered by the regulatory aspects mentioned in Sec.15. The first two aspects relating to error in substance and form would be covered by Rule 11(1) & (2) respectively, whereas the other two contingencies of fraud and improper action would be covered by sub-rule (4) of Rule 11.
8. There could be many a contingency where the application sought to be corrected is not on account of any of the above 4 contingencies explicitly contemplated in Sec.15 or in the Rule 11. For instance, as in the facts of this case, when the child is born, many a time, parents and the nearby relatives, who are attending to see the child will be more concerned with the health and safety of the mother and the child and not on the aspect as to what should be the name to be given to the child, etc. When the information is given to the hospital authorities, which will have to be conveyed to the Registrar of Births & Deaths and immediately after the birth of the child it may happen, many a time, that the child may be given a pet name based on the suggestions of some of the near relatives, who are present with the mother or on the opinion of the parents. Later, when the child grows up and is about to be admitted in the Kindergarten or in the school, the parents would like to give a proper name other than the pet name. Many a time in Christian community, pet name may be given initially and baptismal name may also be given subsequently at the time of baptism and parents may follow to give surname as stated hereinabove. Merely because of the provisions in the Act and circular do not explicitly contemplate other contingencies, it does not mean that there is no power to deal with such contingencies. Even for contingencies other than those envisaged in the Act and the Rules, a person, may for bonafide reasons decides to charge his/her name and such a right is available in common law and as a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right as envisaged in Article 21. Right to individuality, right to personality, right to privacy, etc, are now recognised as facets and dimensions of right to dignified life guaranteed in Article 21. Such a right could be certainly regulated in a reasonable manner as is known to law. But such a right cannot be negated or extinguished, on the misconception that the above Act and Rules do not envisage any such other contingencies. Such a right could be regulated to prevent misuse, commission of fraud, etc. Therefore, subject to the limited grounds to control and regulate any fraudulent or ulterior motives, such a plea made for change of name has to be considered on merits and what is essentially required is that statutory authority should make an enquiry on the pea and it should be satisfied that the plea projected in the application is bona fide and not for malafide or extraneous consideration or for any fraudulent purposes. Certainly, in these times we live, we face situations of serious frauds, crimes, extremism, terrorism, etc., and there could be applicants who may have malafide or criminal motives in seeking such change of name. Therefore, necessarily, an enquiry should be conducted on the bona fides of the plea and if the plea is found to be bona fide then certainly the matter has to be considered and the discretion has to be exercised properly and rightly. In such scenarios, the statutory authority has to exercise their powers in accordance with the principles of justice, equity and good conscience.
9. As categorically held by the Division Bench of this Court in Chalakkudy Municipality v. Malavika , reported in 2009 (4) KLT 714, the provisions in the above said Act and Rules, administrative guidelines issued thereunder cannot extinguish any rights. Therefore, it is too well settled that the provisions in the above said Act and rules, guidelines or absence of provisions thereof, cannot be the basis for extinguishing or whittling down any common law right or fundamental right as the one in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Therefore, even where the plea for correction/alteration in a certificate issued by the Registrar, does not fall within any 4 contingencies explicitly envisaged in Sec.15 and Rule 11, it does not mean that the merits of such pleas cannot be considered by the authorities concerned. Such stand on the part of the respondents would amount to permitting them to extinguish or whittle down any common right or constitutional fundamental right. That is clearly impermissible in law. The said situation is all the more clearly admitted by the respondent-State authorities as can be seen from a perusal of the second and third sentences of para 2 of clause (6) of Ext.P-8 Government Circular dated 20.3.2007 which reads as follows (given on page 18 of the paper book): 
............................ എനന്നാൽ ജനന സമയതത്ത് ഒര ഓമനപപ്പേരരിടുകയയും അതത്ത് രജരിസ്ട്രറരിൽ ഉൾപപ്പേടുത്തുകയയും പചെയരിട്ടുപണ്ടെങരിൽ ശരരിയന്നായ പപേരത്ത് പചെർക്കുനതരിനത്ത് മന്നാതന്നാപേരിതന്നാക്കൾ അപപേകരിചന്നാൽ അപനന്വേഷണയും നടതരി പബന്നാദദ്ധ്യപപ്പേടത്ത് രജരിസ്ട്രന്നാർക്കു തപന അതത്ത് അനുവദരിക്കന്നാവുനതന്നാണത്ത്. രജരിപസ്ടേഷനുകളരിൽ വനരിട്ടുള അകരപതറ്റുകളയും മന്നാതന്നാപേരിതന്നാക്കളപട വരിളരിപപ്പേരകളയും പബന്നാദദ്ധ്യപപ്പേടത്ത് തരിരത്തുനതരിനുയും രജരിസ്ട്രന്നാർക്കത്ത് അധരികന്നാരമുണ്ടെത്ത്. മന്നാതന്നാപേരിതന്നാക്കളപട വരിളരിപപ്പേരന്നാണത്ത് രജരിസ്ട്രറരിൽ പചെർതരിരരിക്കുനപതങരിൽ (മന്നാതന്നാപേരിതന്നാക്കളപട) സ്കൂൾ പരഖയപടയയും അപനന്വേഷണതരിപന്റെയയും അടരിസന്നാനതരിൽ സ്കൂൾ പരഖയരിപലേതു പപേന്നാപലേ തരിരതന്നാവുനതന്നാണത്ത്..............” 
So also, merely because the Government Circular dated 20.1.2010 referred in the impugned Ext.P-9 order mentions about showing 'alias' name, etc., does not mean that, that is the only manner in which correction/alteration of names in the certificate could be considered even if the applicant does not desire and applicant wants to show the name in the manner suggested in the application. Such narrow and over rigid stand is permitted to be upheld, then it will amount to whittling down and extinquishing existing common law rights as aforesaid. But of course, the authorities could clearly indicate in the corrected certificate about the earlier name of the applicant concerned, but the corrected name should be clearly and properly indicated therein.
10. A bare perusal of the facts dealt with in the judgment of this Court in Shipna Jose v. Registrar, reported in 2010 (2) KLT 978, would make it clear therein that the name of the child after its birth was shown as “Reetha” in the birth certificate of that child based on the information conveyed in that regard by the parents. Later, the parents had taken a decision to show the name of the child as “Shipna Jose” while admitting her in the school and her name was shown as “Shipna Jose” in the school register. An application was made on behalf of the child for correction in the birth register in order to show her name as “Shipna Jose” and not as “Reetha”. The said plea made on behalf of the child was rejected by the Registrar on the ground that there is no provision in the Act or in the Rules or in the Circular governing the field as sought for in the application. This Court in Shipna Jose 's case (supra) has held that the said stand of the Registrar in rejecting the plea is illegal and improper and had directed reconsideration and also directed that the application of the petitioner therein should be considered on merits and to allow the correction on being satisfied that it requires such a correction. The facts of this case are almost similar to the one in Shipna Jose's case (supra).
11. It is well known that even the Government of Kerala has laid down procedures for incorporating change of names of an individual. It is brought to the notice of this Court that Government Orders have been issued in that regard by the State Government laying down that if a person is desirous of changing name as entered in the existing records, then he has to make a declaration in that regard and get such declaration published in the Gazette of Kerala and once Gazette publication is allowed and so effected, then such change of name is recognised by the Government of the State of Kerala. It is too elementary to state that any individual will have the freedom both in common law as well as on the ground of the fundamental rights conferred on an individual, particularly as per the provisions in Article 21 of the Constitution of India to effectuate the requisite change of name of that individual if he so bona fide desires. But certainly, the right in that regard is to be regulated so that there is no grave abuse or that it is not being used for any fraudulent purposes. Therefore, subject to the power of the State to regulate such freedom and right on the grounds of possibility of fraud, misuse, abuse and other pragmatic consideration based on the exigencies of actual state of affairs in the community, etc., an individual can certainly claim a right both in common law as well as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India for effectuating change of name if he so bona fide desires for such change of name. Therefore, the contention of the respondent authority that there is no provision in the Act for such change of name in the birth register and therefore the application for such change of name is to be rejected, etc., is based on a total improper understanding of the norms and rights governing the field. The 2nd respondent has taken the curious stand that it is prepared to show the correction of the name of the petitioner by showing 'alias' whereby the name of the petitioner as entered in Ext.P-1 could be corrected as “Albin Alex alias Mathew Alex”. If the petitioner is not satisfied with such correction, his rights in that regard cannot be curtailed by the respondents. Certainly, the respondents have the power as well as the obligation to conduct proper enquiry to satisfy itself as to whether the change of name is sought on bona fide consideration and request or whether it is for abuse with fraudulent purpose and other ulterior motives.


12. The 2nd respondent has no case whatsoever that the petitioner and his parents have any fraudulent or ulterior motives in seeking the change of name. The respondents have no dispute that the pet name given to the petitioner at the time of his birth was “Albin” and it was in these circumstances, his name was entered as “Albin, S/o.Alex” in Ext.P-1 birth certificate, which was issued on the basis of hardly just a day after the birth of the child. It is also well known that majority of the members of Christian community follows the procedure that baptismal name is given much after the pet name is chosen. By convention, which is not now very hard and fast, ordinarily at baptism, the first name of the eldest male child is given by taking the name of the paternal grandfather and the second male child may be given the name ordinarily by taking the name of the maternal grandfather. So also for first born and second born female children, the names could be given adopting the paternal grandmother and maternal grandmother respectively. Certainly, these are all matters of choice of parents and there is no hard and fast rule in that regard. But, surely, this Court can take judicial cognizance of such aspects, which have been existing in the community. It is not in dispute that the name of the petitioner is “Albin” and that his paternal grandfather's name is “Mathew”. Even the respondents do not have any doubt about the bonafides in the change of name made by the petitioner. The case of the petitioner is that it was only at the time of baptism, the parents adopted the name “Mathew Alex” whereby his paternal grandfather's name was chosen as the first name and the second name was his father's name. It is in the light of these aspects, that the petitioner would submit that his name was shown as “Mathew Alex” not only in the baptism register but also in the school register. There cannot be any serious doubts about the simple and straight case put forward by the petitioner. The only ground on the basis of which the 2nd respondent has rejected the plea made by the petitioner is that there is no provision for correction. More surprisingly, even when the 2nd respondent would submit that there is no provision to correct the name but it can be shown as 'alias' as stated hereinabove. In the light of the above said discussion and also taking into account the legal principles laid down in the aforecited judgments, this Court is certainly of the view that the impugned order is illegal and improper and requires interdiction. In this view of the matter, the impugned order passed by the 2nd respondent as per Ext.P-9 will stand set aside. Accordingly, it is declared that nothing in the provisions of the Act or any administrative guidelines, etc., will stand in the way of the 2nd respondent in considering Ext.P-6 application of the petitioner on merits and to allow the correction on being satisfied that it requires such correction. After such procedure, appropriate action should be taken by the 2nd respondent without any further delay as the matter has been pending for a quite long time. The impugned Ext.P-9 order has been passed as early as on 16.9.2010 and the Writ Petition has been file on 16.1.2011. The petitioner was a minor aged 14 years at the time of institution of this Writ Petition and now he is about 21½ years of age as of now. Therefore, the matter should not be delayed any further and the 2nd respondent-Registrar will do the needful to consider the application of the petitioner on merits and allow the correction on being satisfied that it requires such a correction and this shall be done within a period of 6 weeks from the date of production of a certified copy of this judgment. The petitioner will produce a certified copy of this judgment before respondents 1 & 2 for necessary compliance.
With these observations and directions, the above Writ Petition (Civil) will stand finally disposed of.
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