Alteration of date of birth in service records cannot be claimed as of right-SC
The Apex Court, while hearing an appeal, made an observation that any changes in the date of birth, specifically in the service records, could not be claimed as of right. The bench denied the existence of this right even in cases of compelling evidence placed before the court.
In the instant case, the employee/respondent of the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited filed a plea requesting its employer to change his date of birth. Later, he also filed a suit for declaration regarding his date of birth, however, the same had been dismissed by Trial Court.
Thereafter, on an appeal to High Court, the bench allowed the appeal and decreed the suit. Aggrieved by the order of High Court, the corporation approached the Supreme Court wherein it contended that the right claimed by employee could not be provided and the advantage of alteration could not be extended to a State-government servant.
The counsel on behalf of corporation backed its argument by contending that the request could’ve been allowed, provided the employee had made an application within three years from which his birth date and age had been accepted and recorded in the service records, or within one year from the date of commencement of Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974, whichever appeared to be later.
The counsel further submitted that in the instant case, the employee had filed the application for the first time after the lapse of 24 years.
The apex court bench accepted the contentions of corporation and observed that such applications could be processed only in accordance with the relevant provisions. The same could not be entertained when filed after a long delay or when the employee had reached the age of superannuation.
The bench further observed that the application for alteration in date of birth in service records could be rejected on ground of latches.
The bench went on to observe that the employee could not be entitled to the decree of declaration, however, since the High Court judgment had been implemented and the employee had retired, it clarified that the said judgment would not affect him in any manner.
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