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Issuance of birth certificates or any other certificate is sovereign function of the country and their Embassy in another country cannot make any changes in that they only work as facilitator: High Court of Kerala

If any person is willing to have any change in birth certificate issued from particular country then he will have to appear there and do the needful as the embassy don’t have power for it they only work as a facilitator and issuance of birth certificate is the sovereign function of the country and same was upheld by High Court of Kerala through the learned bench led HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE N.NAGARESH in the case of RUBEN TOM JOSEPH vs. UNION OF INDIA (WP(C) NO. 27832 OF 2021) on 29th March, 2022.

Facts of the case are that petitioner born in Kuwait, has filed this writ petition seeking to command the respondents to direct the Consulate of Kuwait in India to issue a certificate to the petitioner stating that the name of the petitioner was wrongly entered as Tomson in Birth Certificate and Mr. Tomson and Mr. Ruben Tom Joseph holding Indian Passport No.M2736669 are one and the same person only.

Learned counsel for petitioner submitted that the parents of the petitioner were working in Kuwait. The Central Registry for Births and Deaths under the Ministry of Public Health, Kuwait had issued Birth Certificate of the petitioner in 1977. Since the Birth Certificate was in Arabic language, the wrong entry of petitioner’s name could not be detected. He stated that in all other documents including in the Passport issued by the Embassy of India, the petitioner’s name is correctly shown as “Ruben John Joseph”. When the petitioner’s parents retired from service in Kuwait, the petitioner and parents came back to India. Now, the petitioner wants to go to US. When the petitioner submitted application for Job Visa, the application was rejected for the reason that the name of the petitioner shown in the Birth Certificate is different from actual name of the petitioner. The petitioner sent a representation to the Consulate of Kuwait, Mumbai seeking to issue a certificate stating that the name of the petitioner was wrongly entered. The representation was not responded to.

The respondents who are Union of India and Embassy of India, Kuwait, filed a statement and submitted that the petitioner was informed of the prescribed procedure for correcting the name. What is sought to be done by the petitioner are sovereign functions of the State of Kuwait. Steps are to be taken by the petitioner himself and the Ministry of External Affairs or Embassy of India, Kuwait cannot do much on behalf of the petitioner.

 Court held that the petitioner wants to get certificates without visiting Kuwait and without authorizing anyone in Kuwait, on his behalf. When the actual exercise of correction of certificates is to be done by the State of Kuwait, the petitioner cannot insist that without the presence of the petitioner or anyone authorized on his behalf in Kuwait, the petitioner should get the certificate corrected. The petitioner can only aspire to get services provided by the Embassy of India, Kuwait within their procedural limitations. “No orders can be passed in this writ petition and it is dismissed. The petitioner will however be free to follow the advice given by the Embassy of India for redressal of his grievances.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Amit Singh

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