Question regarding correction of date of birth in Matriculation Certificate, discussed

Punjab and Haryana High Court:  Denouncing the tendency of the people to give older date of birth in the matriculation examination to qualify in the matriculation examination but then to rely upon the birth certificate that he is younger in age at the time of employment, cannot be countenanced,  the division bench comprising of Hemant Gupta and Lisa Gill, JJ., held that though the Birth Certificate carries with it a presumption of correction being maintained by a public office in discharge of his official duties, even then, in the case of there being variation in the date of birth in the Birth Certificate and the Matriculation Certificate a person would be estopped as per the law of estoppel laid down in Section 115 of the Evidence Act, 1872, from disputing the same in the guise of correcting the mistake in the Matriculation Certificate. The date of birth cannot be permitted to be corrected in terms of the regulation of the School Board merely because in a birth certificate issued by the Registrar, there is a different date than what is mentioned in the matriculation certificate. Only correction of clerical errors can be allowed in such case.

In case of persons born before the registration of births became mandatory, they would be granted a limited right to corrections on the basis of the doctrine of Ante Litem Motam, which presumes that in case of things done before arising of a legal dispute the declarant has no motive to lie. The person will still not be permitted to dispute the entry of the date of birth in the Matriculation Certificate.

It was also held by the Court that in cases where the date of birth was given in the school records by the parents of a child when he was minor, by virtue of Section 6 of the Limitation Act, 1936 which gives a right to the person suffering from legal disabilities including a minor to assert his rights after the cessation of such disability, such a minor can dispute the date of birth given in the matriculation certificate but the same has to be exercised within the period of limitation of 3 years of his attaining majority as laid down in Section  8 of the same act.  Ambika Kaul v. Central Board of Secondary Education,  2015 SCC OnLine P&H 1669decided on 21.05.2015.

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