30 Jun 2121

Implementation Instruction 76 clause (i) (a) permits rectification of the date of birth as mentioned in the school leaving certificate - Bombay High Court

Case : Prabhat Kumar Titus v. Western Coalfields Limited and Ors. Writ Petition No. 1315 of 2021

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice Anil S. Kilor and Justice Sunil B. Shukre

Decided on : 30 Jun 2121

Relevant Statues

Articles 226 of the Constitution of India, 1950

Brief Facts & Procedure History

1. The relevant seminal facts are that the Petitioner was appointed in the year 1984 as ‘Badli Loader’ in the Respondent, Western Coalfields Limited. Though his date of birth in the Matriculation Certificate reflects as 6.12.1961, it was recorded as 1.7.1961 in the Form ‘B’ maintained by the Respondents. On 15.9.2011, the Deputy General Manager (Personnel), Umrer published a notice stating that as per the direction issued by the General Manager (Industrial Relation), the objections regarding the date of birth should be submitted within the scheduled date mentioned in the notice.

2. Accordingly, the Petitioner submitted his objections/representations on 7.10.2011, pointing out the clerical mistake committed in the recording of his date of birth. The petitioner had also enclosed a copy of the ‘Matriculation Certificate’ along with his objection in support of his request. Later, a notice was published by the Manager (Personnel), Umrer Sub Area giving particulars of the employees who had raised objections. In the said list there was an endorsement against the name of the Petitioner that his case will be examined separately on the basis of Matriculation Certificate.

3. Thereafter, the date of birth of the Petitioner was verified from the Higher Secondary Board which was found to be correct. Accordingly, Umrer Sub Area, Colliery Manager forwarded the case of the Petitioner for correction of date of birth to the Sub-Area Level Committee who in turn, has forwarded it with a positive recommendation to the Area Committee. Consequently, the Area Committee also recommended for correction of the date of birth of the Petitioner.

4. However, as the Petitioner did not receive any communication for his request of change of date of birth, he made a representation on 1.7.2019, requesting the Respondents to take a decision on his representation dated 7.10.2011. On 30.6.2020, the Petitioner received a ‘notice of retirement’ considering the date of birth of the Petitioner as 1.7.1961. Consequently, he again made a representation for reconsideration of his request for correction of his date of birth as 6.12.1961 vide representation dated 7.7.2020.

5. However, when the Petitioner found that the respondents are not taking any decision on his application, he filed a Writ Petition No. 2195 of 2020 before this Court which came to be disposed of on 14.1.2021 on a statement made by the Respondents that they will pass a fresh order in respect of the application of the Petitioner for change of date of birth. In pursuance, thereof the Respondents, issued the impugned ‘Reasoned Order’ dated 2.2.2021 rejecting the request of the Petitioner made vides application dated 7.10.2011 for correction of date of birth. Hence, this present petition.

 The Issue(s) of the Case

Whether the Petitioner is entitled to the correction of his date of birth in contrary to the ‘Reasoned Order’ dated 2.2.2021 issued by the Respondents?

The Observations of the Court

The Honourable Bombay High Court observed the following:

1. Opined that this present writ petition cannot be thrown out on the ground of alternate remedy with respect to the issue of maintainability of the present petition.

2. Took cognizance of the fact that that the Respondents called objections vide notice dated 15.9.2011 and in pursuance thereof, the Petitioner had submitted his objection on 7.10.2011 i.e. 10 years before his date of retirement.

3. Noted that for a long period of 9 years and 4 months, no decision was communicated to the Petitioner though the reminder letter was issued by the petitioner on 1.7. 2019.

4. Denied the contentions placed by the Respondents that the Petitioner has approached this Court after 30 years of his service as the Court opined that the delay was on the part of the Respondents in deciding the representation/objection of the petitioner.

5. Contemplated the fact pleaded by the Petitioner that the wrong date of birth was recorded due to negligence of a clerk in the office of Mine Manager and hence the mistake was an obvious clerical error.

6. Based on the above observations, the Court opined that the impugned ‘Reasoned Order’ is erroneous and not sustainable in the eyes of law.

7. Reliance was placed upon precedents such as Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. and Ors v. Chhota Birsa Uranw, 2014 (12) SCC 570; Secretary & Commissioner, Home Department and Ors v. R. Kirubakaran, 1994 Supp (1) SCC 155.

The Decision held by the Court

The Honourable Bombay High Court allowed the Writ Petition No.1315 of 2021 and directed the Respondents to correct the date of birth of the Petitioner as 6.12.1961 in the service record of the Petitioner.

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