Getting date of birth changed at fag end of your career? STOP! First read the law laid down by the Supreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where a Government employee had sought change of date of birth in service records from 04.01.1960 to 24.01.1961, 24 years after he had joined the service, the bench of MR Shah* and AS Bopanna, JJ has held that the said employee was not entitled to any relief or change of date of birth on the ground of delay and laches as the request for change of date of birth was made after lapse of 24 years since he joined the service.

Law on change of date of birth summarized:

(i) application for change of date of birth can only be as per the relevant provisions/regulations applicable;

(ii) even if there is cogent evidence, the same cannot be claimed as a matter of right;

(iii) application 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.

Important Rulings

Home Deptt. v. R.Kirubakaran, 1994 Supp (1) SCC 155

“An application for correction of the date of birth should not be dealt with by the Tribunal or the High Court keeping in view only the public servant concerned. It need not be pointed out that any such direction for correction of the date of birth of the public servant concerned has a chain reaction, inasmuch as others waiting for years, below him for their respective promotions are affected in this process. Some are likely to suffer irreparable injury, inasmuch as, because of the correction of the date of birth, the officer concerned, continues in office, in some cases for years, within which time many officers who are below him in seniority waiting for their promotion, may lose the promotion for ever…”

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State of M.P. v. Premlal Shrivas, (2011) 9 SCC 664

“8. It needs to be emphasised that in matters involving correction of date of birth of a government   servant, particularly on the eve of his superannuation or at the fag end of his career, the court or the tribunal has to be circumspect, cautious and careful while issuing direction for correction of date of birth, recorded in the service book at the time of entry into any government service. Unless the court or the tribunal is fully satisfied on the basis of the irrefutable proof relating to his date of birth and that such a claim is made in accordance with the procedure prescribed or as per the consistent procedure adopted by the department concerned, as the case may be, and a real injustice has been caused to the person concerned, the court or the tribunal should be loath to issue a direction for correction of the service book. Time and again this Court has expressed the view that if a government servant makes a request for correction of the recorded date of birth after lapse of a long time of his induction into the service, particularly beyond the time fixed by his employer, he cannot claim, as a matter of right, the correction of his date of birth, even if he has 13 good evidence to establish that the recorded date of birth is clearly erroneous. No court or the tribunal can come to the aid of those who sleep over their rights.”

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Life Insurance Corporation of India v. R.Basavaraju, (2016) 15 SCC 781

“5. The law with regard to correction of date of birth has been time and again discussed by this Court and held that once the date of birth is entered in the service record, as per the educational certificates and accepted by the employee, the same cannot be changed. Not only that, this Court has also held that a claim for change in date of birth cannot be entertained at the fag end of retirement”

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Bharat Coking Coal Limited v. Shyam Kishore Singh, (2020) 3 SCC 411

“9. … the request for change of the date of birth in the service records at the fag end of service is not sustainable.

10. … 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.”

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[Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Ltd. v. T.P. Nataraja, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 767, decided on 21.09.2021]


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah

Know Thy Judge | Justice M. R. Shah

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