In the case of X vs The Dean despite being born a woman, the petitioner was currently self-identifying as transgender. After completing a Masters of Arts (MA) at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the petitioner is now looking to pursue a career in law under a new name and identity (as a transgender person). The school, however, declined the petitioner’s request to have their degrees and other credentials issued again on their new names and identities.
Whether the TISS not permit the transgender student to change name and gender violate Article 21 of the Constitution.
Analysis of court order
A Bombay high court bench of Justices Gautam Patel and Neela Gokhale emphasised that the TISS approach, in this case, was “simply wrong” since it does not acknowledge that concerns of identity, self-identification, and gender perception do not occur at a biological determinable point in time.”These are issues of self-realization with arbitrary deadlines. That does not imply that everyone who exercises these Article 21 rights and requests the appropriate adjustments must endure the added trauma of having every document they have ever received since birth issued again. There is no reason at all why the online forms on the institution’s (TISS) website, or the websites of any other educational institutions that are or are subject to our writ jurisdiction, should not include a form specifically for these changes, indicating a change in name and a gender change. It would be a clear violation of fundamental rights, such as the right to privacy and the right to dignity protected by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, and it would be manifestly unfair.
The court pointed out that an educational institution cannot reject a student who wants to amend their paperwork to indicate they are transgender. In Maharashtra, transgender people will no longer need to file lawsuits to change their names and identities on official papers. ordered that transgender people be allowed to change their names and identities in official records with retroactive effect at all State educational institutions.