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Three years after the Goa Change of Name and Surname (Amendment) Bill

  • Published
    23rd Jul, 2022
Context

Three years after the Goa Change of Name and Surname (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which provide for further stricter restrictions and rules for making changes in names and surnames in the State.

Background
  • The Amendment Bill passed is the sequel to the 2019 amendment to the 1990 Act.
  • While the original legislation had laid down the rules for carrying out changes in one’s name and surname through the registrar, with necessary documents as proof, after issuing advertisements in newspapers.
  • The 2019 amendment made it a cognisable offence to carry out such changes in breach of the stipulated norms.
  • The act was made stringent against the individuals who target to avail benefits under government schemes, or to buy or inherit land or even apply for Portuguese passports.

Condition to change name and surname in Goa

  • Goa Change of Name and Surname Act, 1990, vested the powers to permit names changes in the judiciary by inserting the conditions that a person desiring to changing her or his name would have to have their birth registered in Goa and either a parent or a grandparent born in Goa.

What are the news amendments in the Bill?

  • The Goa Change of Name and Surname (Amendment) Bill, 2022 amends Sections 2 and 3 of the Goa Change of Name and Surname Act, 1990.
  • Change in definitions: In Section 2, clauses have been omitted, pertaining to the definitions of registrar and chief registrar.
  • Transfer of power from Legislator to Judiciary: Under Section 3, the power to permit name changes, which were earlier vested in the registrar or the Chief Registrar of the state, have now been placed with Civil Judge Junior Division or a District Judge.

Recent interpretations by the Judiciary

  • The Allahabad High Court has recently held that change of name is an ‘expression’ guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.
  • The individual 'name' is a facet of right of expression, which is guaranteed under Article 19(1) (a) read with Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
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