Mon. Feb 22nd, 2021
For ‘no religion’ mention in certs, man moves HC

AHMEDABAD: The man who had approached the Gujarat high court seeking to be declared an atheist, has filed another petition for permission to not mention caste and religion in the certificates for all those who do not want such details mentioned.
For himself, petitioner Rajveer Upadhyay (36), seeks directions to the authorities to mention “No Religion, No Caste” in his certificates because he does not want any religion or caste to be mentioned. This autorickshaw driver belongs to Garo-Brahmin caste, a scheduled caste, and mentions in his petition that he has faced many troubles in life due to discriminatory caste system.
For removal of mention of religion and caste from his certificates, Upadhyay once again relies on the certificate issued to one Sneha Vellore by Tamil Nadu authorities and ratified by the Madras high court.
Upadhyay has also sought to remove mention of father/husband’s name and surname from certificate, if people are not willing to mention them. He has contended that the authorities cannot compel people to mention such details. He has urged the HC to direct concerned authorities to remove these details from his and his daughter’s certificates. He has argued in his petition that those who are orphans and women with multiple divorces always face this problem and feel humiliated.
Three years ago, Upadhyay had requested the authorities to allow his name to be changed to RV155677820, but his application was rejected citing lack of provisions to make such changes. The gazette authority also turned down his request in 2017. He has urged the HC to direct the authorities to change his name to this number. He has submitted that he has already changed his name once.
In support of his demand that people may not be compelled to mention their caste and religion in their certificates, the petitioner cites the Supreme Court’s observation that Hinduism is a way of life and not a religion. The petitioner has also requested the high court to address the court in the Hindi language. He feels that his appearing as party-in-person before the court will not be easily permitted with the norms in place at present. A litigant has to obtain a certificate from the HC registry that they are fit to address the court in English. The court has appointed a lawyer to represent Upadhyay in his petition in which he seeks permission to be identified as an atheist.

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