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