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Centre permits IRS officer to change their name and gender in official records

M Anukathir Surya started their career as an Assistant Commissioner in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in 2013 and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Deputy Commissioner in 2018.

In a historic decision, the Ministry of Finance has granted permission for a senior (Indian Revenue Service) IRS officer to change their name and gender in all official records. The officer, M Anusuya, currently posted as Joint Commissioner in the Chief Commissioner (AR) office of the Central Excise, Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in Hyderabad, sought to change their name to M Anukathir Surya and transition from female to male.

IRS officer
Image Source: Prime Legal

According to a report by CNBC TV18, the order, dated July 9, states, “Ms M Anusuya, IRS (C&IT: 2013) [Employee Code: 4623, DOB: 20.10.1988], has requested a name change from Ms M Anusuya to Mr M Anukathir Surya, along with a gender change.” The Ministry of Finance has officially approved the officer’s request, marking a significant step toward inclusivity and recognition. Going forward, the officer will be recognized as ‘Mr M Anukathir Surya’ in all official records. The decision was made with the “approval of the competent authority.”

The order has been communicated to the Chief Commissioner (AR), Customs, Excise, Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, and all Principal Chief Commissioners/Pr Directors General under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

M Anukathir Surya started their career as an Assistant Commissioner in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, in 2013 and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Deputy Commissioner in 2018. Since January 2023, they have held the position of Joint Commissioner in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Educationally, the officer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication from Madras Institute of Technology. Additionally, they pursued a PG Diploma in Cyber Law and Cyber Forensics from the National Law Institute University, Bhopal.

Recognition of Identity in Government Records

In a similar context, back in 2015, an Odisha government officer legally changed their gender identity to that of a third gender following a Supreme Court ruling that recognized transgenders as a distinct category. The officer expressed their decision to embrace a third gender identity immediately after the apex court’s landmark verdict.

The transformation was met with acceptance, and the people who previously addressed the officer as ‘sir’ now refer to them as ‘madam.’ The officer did not encounter any unpleasant situations, thanks to the supportive attitude of their superior. This decision sets a precedent for other government departments and organizations to follow suit.

Through an affidavit before an executive magistrate, the officer officially became Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan. They submitted relevant records to effect the change in name and gender. It is expected that the officer will soon receive transgender classification in government records.

Ratikanta Pradhan, who works for the Odisha Financial Services Department (OFS), underwent this transformation in 2015 and became Aishwarya Rutuparna Pradhan. Notably, Pradhan holds the distinction of being India’s first transgender civil servant.

You might also be interested in – Newly-enacted BNS makes sexual offenses gender neutral

Dr. Shubhangi Jha

Avid reader, infrequent writer, evolving

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