My question has two parts regarding with the -

  1. Regulation of First and/or Middle name
  2. Regulation of Last name

First question might not be tricky but for second question there could be some challenges.

As we know most of the last names in India are either

  • caste (like Sharma, Sahu, Rao) or
  • generic terms (like Kumar, Singh) or
  • some family name (like Allu — mainly in South India)

In this regard except for caste based last name there shouldn't be any problem.

Now for caste based last names —

What if someone belonging to Sharma caste names their child ABC Sahu ?

Is it allowed?

If allowed - What about reservation for which Govt manages list of castes under various categories like Gen/OBC/SC/ST ?

(However there must be other evidences to decide category - still there could be problems like Meena and Mina where only Minas are given reservation benefits and spelling change can erupt confusions as it already did. — Latin and Devanagari scripts being used in Certificates)

1 Answer 1


Since there is no such law, it is difficult to prove the non-existence of a law. Indian law derives from UK law, with additions. There is no such law in the UK. There is a specific Indian law about registration of births and deaths, which simply includes a provision that the child's name is to be registered. There is no specific statutory provision against an unconventional name.

  • How can you say this — Indian law derives from UK law, with additions. We have some laws which were passed during British India but They were ratified for continuation in independent India. India no more "derives" laws from other countries.
    – ShivCK
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:24
  • Thanks. But I'm partially satisfied with the answer. The 'caste based reservation' thing was not dealt with in your answer. I'm no more hopeful for answer on this issue on this forum. 😕 Seems like Indians are either less active on forum or nobody wants to answer this.
    – ShivCK
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:27
  • 1
    You may not know this, but many current laws were passed in the 1800's by England, and remain unchanged. They were not automatically swept away at independence.
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:27
  • 1
    The answer to the caste question follows from the general answer: there are no such laws.
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 17:28
  • "Since there is no such law", seems a bit strong without evidence (with allowances that proving a negative is difficult). (Cf. "If there is no such law" might be a better fit). The fact that there is no such law in the UK is indicative nothing; Canada has an even tighter intertwining of its legal tradition with the UK (per wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_law#Canada), and has restrictions (at the provincial level) on names that if it were transposed into India could potentially forbid such "cross caste" names.
    – sharur
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 19:43

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