The High Court on Tuesday issued an order to amend the student information form (SIF) in various levels of education and mandatorily include the name of ‘father’ or ‘mother’ or ‘legal guardian’ in the SIF.
People concerned said from now on students will be able to fill-up a form with any of these three alternatives –father, mother or legal guardian as per the verdict.
The High Court bench of justice Naima Haider and Md. Khairul Alam delivered the verdict following the final hearing on a writ filed 14 years ago seeking scope to fill-up the registration form of the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination with mother’s name instead of father.
Speaking to Prothom Alo after the verdict, the petitioner’s lawyer Ainun Nahar Siddiqua said the rights of mother has been established partially after this judgment as well as rights to education of any parentless children have been established too.
Prothom Alo published a report titled “Girl’s eructation stops as she has no identity of her father” on 28 March 2008.
Later in 2009, rights organisations Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Naripokkho jointly filed a writ petition attaching the Prothom Alo report.
On 3 August of that year, the High Court bench gave an order issuing a rule. The top court, however, delivered its verdict after conducting the final hearing on the rule.
Lawyers Ainun Nahar Siddiqua, SM Rezaul Karim and Ayesha Akhter stood for the petitioner at the court while deputy attorney general Amit Das Gupta represented the state.
Speaking to Prothom Alo after the verdict, lawyer Ayesha Akhter said a student could not fill up registration form of SSC examination under the Rajshani education board as she could not provide the name of her father. At that time, it was mandatory to mention the name of both father and mother as the guardian of the student.
The writ was filed challenging this discriminatory provision and the name of both father and mother still needs to be mentioned in all level of education, she said adding, the High Court said forms including registration forms related to education could be filled-up with mentioning the name of father or mother or legal guardian.
The top court also instructed the education ministry and all education boards to comply with the verdict. As a result, any from can be filled-up mentioning the identity of either father or mother or legal guardian, Ayesha Akter said.
Speaking to Prothom Alo after the verdict, deputy attorney general Amit Das Gupta said when the writ was filed it was mandatory to write down father’s name as legal guardian in the form related to education, and then the name of mother was mentioned.
Mentioning father’s name only as legal guardian in the form has been declared unconstitutional and the top court ordered to mandatorily include father or mother or legal guardian words to fill-up the blank space for guardian in forms of education sector. Currently, there are provisions to mention the name of father or mother in forms related to education, he added.