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WP 2931 of 2024
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Case Number: Writ Petition No.2931 of 2024

Date of filing: 2024/03/07



  1. Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST),
  2. Bangladesh Mahila Parishad,
  3. Naripokkho


  1. Ministry of Home Affairs, 
  2. Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development,
  3. The Director General, Department of Immigration and Passports, Dhaka
  4. The Director General, Election Commission,
  5. Registrar General, Office of the Registrar General, Birth and Death Registration, Local Government Division


Date: 10/03/2024

Arbitrary and discriminatory actions (“impugned actions”) of the Respondents in not including an entry for the name of a legal guardian as an option in application forms for, and the related identity documents, namely Birth Registration Certificates and National Identity Cards, where the applicant is unable to provide the name of their biological father or mother and not permitting citizens to complete the biometric enrolment for e-Passports where they are unable to provide information regarding their father or a mother in breach of the Citizenship Act 1951, and in violation of fundamental rights as guaranteed under Articles 27, 31, 32, and 36 of the Constitution.

While the law does not require mandatory inclusion of the names of a father and mother on identity documents (birth registration, NID, passport), existing forms and applications in this regard are not uniform. In some cases, citizens have not been able to submit online applications for identity documents where they only include the name of a guardian, or to complete biometric enrolment (e.g. for e-passports) where they are unable to include the name of the father and mother. The changes in the forms are needed to ensure that all citizens are able to secure these documents, needed to access their fundamental rights, and to access essential services, including health and education.


High Court issued a Rule Nisi upon the Government to explain why it should not be directed
to amend relevant circulars and forms, to permit options to include a guardian’s name as an alternative to names of a father or a mother without requiring mandatory inclusion of biological parents’ names on identity documents (Birth Registration Certificates, National Identity Cards, and Passports).
The Court also asked the Authorities to explain they should not be directed to enable rectification of existing identity documents that use derogatory terms such as “jana nei” for individuals without known biological parents.
The Court further directed the authorities to report within 4 months, by 10 July 2024, on the measures taken to harmonise identity documents, including providing options for including a guardian’s name as an alternative to the father or mother, and enabling rectification of identity documents issued without accurate representation of the legal guardianship status or containing derogatory terms for those without biological parents.





Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque

Area of law

Articles 27, 28, 31, 32, and 36 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh


Eqality before law, Right to life, Right to protection of law, Right to safety and security, Freedom of movement.

Relevant statute

Passport Act 1920, Bangladesh Passport Order 1973, and Bangladesh Passport Rules 1974,

National Identity Registration Act 2010, and National Identity Registration Rules 2014,

Births and Deaths Registration Act 2004, and Births and Deaths Registration Rules 2018,

The Citizenship Act 1951