Can’t di­rect au­thor­i­ties to is­sue ‘athe­ist’ cer­tifi­cate: HC

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

Chandi­garh: The Pun­jab and Haryana high court has held that if a per­son has cho­sen to be an athe­ist and not to be­lieve in any caste and class, there would be no re­quire­ment in law for him to be is­sued a cer­tifi­cate to such ef­fect. The high court was also of the view that the courts can­not is­sue di­rec­tions to the au­thor­i­ties to is­sue a cer­tifi­cate to any­one of be­ing an ‘athe­ist’, or a per­son of no caste, no re­li­gion, and no God.

Jus­tice Te­jin­der Singh Dhindsa of the HC passed the or­der while dis­miss­ing a pe­ti­tion filed by Ravi Ku­mar ‘Athe­ist,’ a res­i­dent of To­hana in Haryana’s Fate­habad dis­trict. He had ap­proached the HC af­ter dis­trict au­thor­i­ties had can­celled a cer­tifi­cate is­sued to him by the naib tehsil­dar that de­clared him an “athe­ist.”

Ravi, who had fought a long le­gal bat­tle to use ‘Athe­ist’ as his last name, had been is­sued the “no caste, no re­li­gion, no God” cer­tifi­cate by the Fate­habad dis­trict ad­min­is­tra­tion on April 29 this year. The dis­trict au­thor­i­ties, how­ever, with­drew it on May 4, say­ing that the To­hana naib tehsil­dar had ex­ceeded pow­ers by is­su­ing this cer­tifi­cate. Ag­grieved from this, the pe­ti­tioner had ap­proached the HC.

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