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Request for change of the date of birth in the service records is not sustainable when the judicial

Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. & Ors. Vs. Shyam Kishore Singh, Civil Appal no. 1009 of 2020, arising out of SLP No. 20627 of 2019 – February 05, 2020.

The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Justice R. Banumathi and Justice A.S. Bopanna pronounced the following judgment.

The appellants have filed an appeal against the order passed by the Division Bench of High Court of Jharkhand at Ranchi which ordered for the change in date of birth in the service records and has directed the appellants to pay the sum equivalent to salary of one year. Therefore, the appellants have made the appeal.

Facts: The respondent was appointed as the trainee in the appellant company. He joined in service as Trainee Dozer Operator with effect from 27.02.1982. the respondents claim that he had declared his date of birth as 20.01.1955 in terms of entry contained in his matriculation certificate the fact remains that his date of birth entered in the service record was 04.03.1950 and had remained so from the date of his appointment on 27.02.1982 till his retirement on 31.03.2010. the respondent submitted a Provident Fund Nomination Form wherein he has indicated the details of his family and shown his wife as nominee. In the form also, the date of birth is indicated as 04.03.1950. In 2009, he had represented for the change in date of birth and the appellants have declined it. After a lapse of 4 years, he filed a writ petition in the High Court of Jharkhand. The learned judge found that the appellants secured verification of the date of birth claimed by the respondent from the Bihar School Examination Board. The date of birth was confirmed to be 20.01.1955. The verification is against the learned Judge and it was observed that the date of birth in the service records is correct, there was no occasion for the appellants to verify the School records. The contention of the respondents was accepted and the appellants are directed to make proper corrections and pass consequential orders.

The Division Bench took note of the lapse of 4 years after his retirement. It was also found that the qualification of the respondent was not mentioned in any of the service forms. So, the court was of the view that the learned single Judge has not properly dealt with the aspect of delay in approaching the Court. Therefore, the Court limited the amounts payable to the respondent to the salary for one year between the April 2010 to March 2011 as prevailing at the point. The appellants being aggrieved by the order of both the Courts have made the present appeal.

The Court after hearing both the sides, stated that the date of joining the service is correct, but the respondents rely upon the date of birth in the matriculation certificate and the same has not been submitted while joining the course of employment. The records maintained by the appellants show the date of birth to be 04.03.1950 which has been signed by the respondent also.

The learned counsel for the Appellant stated that a period of three decades has elapsed from the date of employment. It is also contended that a change sought cannot be entertained at the fag end of service after accepting the same to be correct during entire service. Even in the nomination form the employee has entered 04.03.1950 as the date of birth. There was also an opportunity given to the employees to verify the records in 1987, but there was no change mentioned by the employee.

In State of Maharashtra and Anr. Vs. Gorakhnath Sitaram Kamble & Ors. – the Court held that even if there is good evidence to establish that the recorded date of birth is erroneous, the correction cannot be claimed as a matter of right.

Therefore, after hearing the arguments of both the sides, the impugned court order is set aside and the appeal is allowed.

–  Vydurya Selvi Baskaran

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