10 June 2024


Supreme Court

Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. and Ors. Vs. Shyam Kishore Singh




Request for change of the date of birth in service records at the fag end of service is not sustainable

The Appellants are before present Court assailing the order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court. Through the said order, the Division Bench though has modified the judgment of the learned Single Judge insofar as the extent of relief granted, the contention of the Respondent herein relating to the change of date of birth in the service records is accepted and a direction has been issued to the Appellants to pay the sum equivalent to salary of one year for the period between the April, 2010 to March, 2011.

The learned Single Judge being of the opinion that, the Respondent had passed the matriculation prior to joining the services and in that circumstance, the entry of date of birth in the matriculation certificate being 20th January, 1955 even before joining the service, has accepted the contention put forth by the Respondent and in that background arrived at the conclusion that the Appellants are to be directed to make appropriate corrections and pass consequential orders.

The Division Bench has upheld the said reasoning assigned by the Learned Single Judge. However, the Division Bench had taken note that the Respondent herein had filed the writ petition four years after his retirement for restoration of his employment. It has further taken note that the Respondent had filled up several forms in the course of his services where the Respondent had not disclosed his educational qualification. In that view, the Division Bench was of the opinion that, the learned Single Judge had not properly dealt with the aspect of delay in approaching the Court. In that circumstance the Division Bench had limited the attendant benefits payable to the Respondent to the salary for one year between the period April, 2010 to March, 2011 as prevailing at that point.

The fact that the Respondent had joined the services of the Appellants on 01.03.1982 is the accepted position. Though the Respondent relies on the matriculation certificate to indicate that the date of birth stated therein is 20th January, 1955, there is no material on record to indicate that, the said document had been produced before the employer at the time of joining employment. In that background, the service record maintained by the Appellants will disclose that the date of birth indicated in the document is 4th March, 1950 which had been furnished by the Respondent himself as the relevant forms under his signature contain the said date.

Present Court has consistently held that, the request for change of the date of birth in the service records at the fag end of service is not sustainable. This Court in fact has also 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.

In the instant case, as on the date of joining and as also in the year 1987 when the Respondent had an opportunity to fill up the Nomination Form and rectify the defect if any, he had indicated the date of birth as 4th March, 1950 and had further reiterated the same when Provident Fund Nomination Form was filled in 1998. It is only after more than 30 years from the date of his joining service, for the first time in the year 2009 he had made the representation. Further the Respondent did not avail the judicial remedy immediately thereafter, before retirement. Instead, the Respondent retired from service on 31.03.2010 and even thereafter the writ petition was filed only in the year 2014, after four years from the date of his retirement. In that circumstance, the indulgence shown to the Respondent by the High Court was not justified. In the result, the impugned order is set aside and the appeal is allowed.

Tags : Service records Change Legality

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