Swapna, a transgender woman applied for fresh SSLC and HSC certificates indicating her new name and gender identity. The Joint Director of School Examination (JDSE), Tamil Nadu refused to provide them to her. The JDSE stated that the current rules do not allow such name and sex changes.
She had submitted her medical reports and a certificate from the Tahsildar to prove her gender identity and name change. Nevertheless, her application was rejected. Aggrieved by this she filed a petition before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court.
ISSUES & DECISION:
The issue before the court was whether the JDSE had erred by rejecting her application for fresh certificates.
The court ordered the JDSE to reconsider her application. It further directed the JDSE to accept the supporting evidence and make appropriate changes in all documents within four weeks from the date of receiving the order copy.
This order enabled transgender persons to register their gender identity in important documents, such as educational records. The court further stated that the authorities in a case of this nature must help transgender persons rather than denying these reliefs citing technical issues. This case was also cited in Chanchal Bhattacharya vs. state of West Bengal which dealt with recognition of gender identity.