The Supreme Court observed that change of date of birth in the service record cannot be claimed as of right, even if there is cogent evidence.
Such applications, the court said, can only be processed as per the relevant provisions/regulations applicable. They can be rejected on the ground of delay and latches also more particularly when it is made at the fag end of service and/or when the employee is about to retire on attaining the age of superannuation, the bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna observed.
Change of Date of Birth in Military Records Cannot Be Claimed As A Right; Can Be Rejected Due To Delays & Latches: Supreme Court
Even if there is compelling proof, the Supreme Court stated that a change of date of birth in the service record cannot be sought as a right.
According to the court, such applications can only be processed in accordance with the applicable statutes and regulations. The bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna observed that they can be rejected on the basis of delay and locks, particularly where they are made at the end of service and/or when the employee is ready to retire at the age of superannuation.
In this case, a Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited employee requested a date of birth change. Following that, he filed a lawsuit seeking a declaration that his date of birth is January 24, 1961. The Trial Court dismissed the complaint. The High Court granted the appeal and dismissed the case.
The Corporation argued in its appeal to the Apex Court that no such change to a State servant’s date of birth can be made unless the employee makes an application for it within three years of his age and date of birth being accepted and recorded in the service register or book or any other record of service, or within one year of his death. In this example, according to the corporation, the employee applied for the first time by notification dated June 23, 2007 or after approximately 16 years after the enactment’s approval and 24 years since he joined the service (Act, 1974).
The court noted that: I applications for change of date of birth can only be made in accordance with the relevant provisions/regulations; (ii) even if there is compelling evidence, it cannot be claimed as a matter of right; and (iii) applications can be rejected on the basis of delay and latches, particularly when they are made near the end of service. (Section 10)
As a result, the court determined that the employee was not entitled to the decree of declaration in this case. The court noted that the High Court’s decision had been followed in this matter, and the employee had retired. As a result, it was made clear that the judgement would have no effect on him.