Armed Forces Tribunal

Armed Forces Tribunal: Resolving a date of birth related controversy, the Division Bench of Justice Umesh Chandra Srivastava and Vice Admiral Abhay Raghunath Karve, Member (A) stated,

“If we take date of birth recorded in educational certificate of the applicant as correct i.e. 05-07-1992 and date of birth in respect of his younger brother being 20-02-1992 as per service records, one can imagine as to how it could be possible that an elder brother comes to this world later than his younger brother.”

The applicant-son of the deceased had applied for a job in place of his deceased father’s post under ‘Employment Assistance under Indigent Circumstances Scheme’ and the same could not be processed due to mismatch of applicant’s name and date of birth in educational certificates and service records.

The application having certain defects was returned to applicant which he never re-submitted to respondents duly rectified. The raised by the respondent were that there was mismatch in name and date of birth recorded in educational certificates and Personal Occurrence Report maintained by the respondents as per declaration given by father of the applicant. On the basis of educational certificate and service record, it could easily be held that there was forgery with regard to date of birth as applicant being elder was born on 05-07-1992 (as per Educational Certificate) and his younger brother Deepak Kumar was born on 20-02-1992 i.e. prior to birth of his elder brother. The details of the applicant were as follows:

“Educational certificate: Name: Suneel Kumar, DOB: 05-07-1992

Service Records: Name:  Sunil, DOB: 27-03-1990”

The policy letter dated 27-01-2014 with regard to correction of name and change of date of birth in respect of children of Central Govt Employees states that if there is a typographical error while publishing Part II Order/Personal Occurrence Report, it can be corrected by approval of Officer-in-Charge. However, in the instant case names and dates of birth published through Personal Occurrence Report were entirely different to that of educational certificate. The Bench opined,

“The typographical error may be in date or month or year but complete date of birth cannot be totally different which creates a doubt in mind that there is other motive for change in complete date of birth.”

The Supreme Court in Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. v. Shyam Kishore Singh, (2020) 3 SCC 411, had held that, “while spelling in name can be corrected being a typographical error, date of birth as entered in service register of an employee cannot be changed at the fag end of the service 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.”

The Tribunal observed that,

“It has become a trend that parents are getting recorded lesser age of their children in school certificates than the actual age to get undue advantage of age. When the children grow up, they try to get it corrected either by submitting applications or by approaching before the court. In this regard, we are of the opinion that correct date of birth is that which is declared by parents and notified by Part II Orders/Personal Occurrence Report published as per declaration made by parents.”

In view of the above, the Bench declined to interfere in the matter of correction in date of birth in respect of applicant. However, the Air Force authorities were directed to make correction of name in respect of applicant by changing it from “Sunil” to “Suneel Kumar”. Similarly, the Board of High School and Intermediate Education, U.P. was directed to make correction in date of birth in respect of applicant and change it to 1990.

Applicant is directed to submit corrected application to Air Force authorities for processing. Respondent authorities (Air Force) are directed to consider his application on merit. [Suneel Kumar v. Union of India, Original Application No. 135 of 2020, decided on 05-10-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

For the Applicant: Ruby Singh, Advocate.

For the Respondent: Ashish Kumar Singh, Advocate

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