The Petitioner was a transgender person who wanted to change his name and gender from female to male in his educational certificates, specifically his SSLC and Pre-University certificate. He had made representations to the Respondents requesting them to change his name and gender in his educational certificates but the Respondents refused to take any action. The Petitioner, therefore, filed a petition before Karnataka High Court requesting the Court to direct the respondents to carry out the required changes.
The issue before the court was whether it should order the respondents to consider Jeeva’s application and direct them to change his name and gender in his educational certificates.
The Court noted that under similar circumstances in Vinod H.N. v. State of Karnataka and Others, the Karnataka High Court had directed the respondent authorities to consider the applications of the petitioner who was also transgender and to carry out the change in name and gender. The Court noted that since the petitioner already made representations along with documents, the respondent authorities should take a decision in the matter within two months from the date of the receipt of a certified copy of the order.
Relying on NALSA v. Union of India, the Court noted that, “Transgender persons’ right to decide their self-identified gender is also upheld and the centre and State Governments are directed to grant legal recognition of their gender identity such as male, female or as third gender.” The Court held that in light of this judgement of the Supreme Court, it is mandatory for the State of Karnataka represented by the Principle Secretary of the Educational department to issue instructions to the authorities / institutions concerned to act in consonance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court. It directed that the Principal Secretary, Education Department, State of Karnataka shall consider the same and take necessary action to implement the directions of the Apex Court in an expedited manner, without driving transgender persons to courts for change of their name and gender.
This decision is important because the Court passed an order directing the Education Department of the State to issue a Circular to all authorities to carry out the change of name and gender in the educational certificates of transgender persons as per their self-identified gender. This is a significant development and recognition of the right of transgender persons to have their legal documents changed on the basis of their chosen gender identity.