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Kamaldeo Ravidas v/s Bharat Coking Coal Ltd & Others

    W.P.(S) No. 2064 of 2010

    Decided On, 05 August 2021

    At, High Court of Jharkhand

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE DEEPAK ROSHAN

    For the Petitioner: Binod Kr. Jha, Advocate. For the Respondents Arpan Mishra, Advocate.



Judgment Text

1. Heard learned Counsel for the parties through V.C.

2. The instant Writ application has been preferred by the Petitioner praying for a direction upon the Respondent authorities to correct the Date of Birth of the Petitioner as 1.7.1959 in place of 1.7.1950.

3. Mr. Binod Kumar Jha, learned Counsel for the Petitioner draws attention of this Court towards Annexure-1 and tried to impress this Court that his Date of Birth has been mentioned as 1.7.1959. He further referred to the Annexure-2 (Coal Mines Provident Fund Form-A) wherein also his Date of Birth has been mentioned as 1.7.1959.

He further contended that later on the Respondent-Company managed to manipulate his Date of Birth as 1.7.1950 in Form-B register (Annexure-3) which is not correct and immediately after knowing this fact he represented before the Respondent. However, nothing has been done and a notice has been issued to the Petitioner whereby he was forced to retire on 1.7.2010 as per wrong Date of Birth, which is bad in law and deserves to be set aside.

4. Mr. Arpan Mishra, learned Counsel for the Respondents submits that as per Form B register (Annexure-3); the Date of Birth of the Petitioner is 1.7.1950 and said Form-B register was also signed by this Petitioner; as such the petitioner is having no right in raising the dispute of Date of Birth at the fag end of his service.

He further referred to the Para-13 of the Counter Affidavit and submits that Form-B register is maintained under Section 48 of the Mines Act. Further, the service excerpts of BCCL which was prepared in the year 1987; prior to its finalization; the same was circulated to every Workman including the Petitioner in the year 1987 with a view to invite objections, if any, with regard to entries made therein. However, the Petitioner never raised any objection; as such the contention of the Petitioner that his Date of Birth should be corrected is non-est in the eye of law.

5. Having heard learned Counsel for the parties and after going through the averments made in the respective Affidavits and the documents annexed therein, it appears that as per Form-B register the Date of Birth of this Petitioner is 1.7.1950. It has been informed that this Form-B register was prepared on the basis of old document. Thereafter, service excerpts were also prepared in the year 1987 and prior to finalization of service excerpts; the same was circulated to every Workman in the year 1987 itself with a view to invite objections. However, this Petitioner never raised any objection.

Further, by perusing the Form-B register it appears that Date of Birth is categorically mentioned in both words as well as in figure and the same was duly signed by this Petitioner; as such, raising the dispute of Date of Birth at the fag end of service is not permissible in the eye of law.

6. The Hon'ble Apex Court in the case of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. and others v. Shyam Kishore Singh, 2020 (1) LLN 572 (SC) : 2020 (3) SCC 411, has held in Paragraph Nos.9, 10 & 11 as under:

"9. This Court has consistently held that the request for change of the Date of Birth in the service records at the fag end of service is not sustainable. The learned Additional Solicitor General has in that regard relied on the decision in State of Maharashtra v. Gorakhnath Sitaram Kamble wherein a series of the earlier decisions of this Court were taken note and was held as hereunder:

"16. The learned Counsel for the Appellant has placed reliance on the Judgment of this Court in U.P. Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad v. Raj Kumar Agnihotri. In this case, this Court has considered a number of Judgments of this Court and observed that the grievance as to the Date of Birth in the service record should not be permitted at the fag end of the service career.

17. In another Judgment in State of Uttaranchal v. Pitamber Dutt Semwal relief was denied to the Government Employee on the ground that he sought correction in the service record after nearly 30 years of service. While setting aside the Judgment of the High Court, this Court observed that the High Court ought not to have interfered with the decision after almost three decades.

19. These decisions lead to a different dimension of the case that correction at the fag end would be at the cost of a large number of Employees, therefore, any correction at the fag end must be discouraged by the Court. The relevant portion of the Judgment in Home Deptt. v. R. Kirubakaran reads as under: (SCC pp. 158-59, Para 7)

'7. An application for correction of the Date of Birth [by a public servant cannot be entertained at the fag end of his service]. 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 their promotions forever. ... According to us, this is an important aspect, which cannot be lost sight of by the court or the Tribunal while examining the grievance of a Public servant in respect of correction of his Date of Birth. As such, unless a clear case, on the basis of materials which can be held to be conclusive in nature, is made out by the Respondent, the Court or the Tribunal should not issue a direction, on the basis of materials which make such claim only plausible. Before any such direction is issued, the Court or the Tribunal must be fully satisfied that there has been real injustice to the person concerned and his claim for correction of Date of Birth has been made in accordance with the procedure prescribed, and within the time fixed by any rule or order. ...the onus is on the Applicant, to prove the wrong recording of his Date of Birth, in his service book.'

10. This Court in fact has also held that 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. In that regard, in State of M.P. v. Premlal Shrivas it is held as hereunder:

"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 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 (see Union of India v. Harnam Singh).

12. Be that as it may, in our opinion, the delay of over two decades in applying for the correction of Date of Birth is ex facie fatal to the case of the Respondent, notwithstanding the fact that there was no specific rule or order, framed or made, prescribing the period within which such application could be filed. It is trite that even in such a situation such an application should be filed which can be held to be reasonable. The application filed by the Respondent 25 years after his induction into service, by no standards, can be held to be reasonable, more so when not a feeble attempt was made to explain the said delay. There is also no substance in the plea of the Respondent that since Rule 84 of the M.P. Financial Code does not prescribe the time-limit within which an application is to be filed, the Appellants were duty-bound to correct the clerical error in recording of his Date of Birth in the service book."

11. The learned Additional Solicitor General has also relied upon the decision of this Court in Kirloskar Bros. Ltd. v. Laxman, dated 25.4.2019 wherein the belated claim was not entertained. Further reliance is also placed on the decision of this Court in Eastern Coalfields Ltd. v. Ram Samugh Yadav, dated 27.5.2019 wherein this Court has held as hereunder:


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/>"6. Nothing is on record that in the year 1987 when the opportunity was given to Respondent 1, to raise any issue/dispute regarding the service record more particularly his Date of Birth in the service record, no such issue/dispute was raised. Only one year prior to his superannuation, Respondent 1 raised the dispute which can be said to be belated dispute and therefore, the learned Single Judge as well as the Employer was justified in refusing to accept such an issue. 7. The Division Bench of the High Court has, therefore, committed a grave error in directing the Appellant to correct the Date of Birth of Respondent 1 in the service record after number of years and that too when the issue was raised only one year prior to his superannuation and as observed hereinabove no dispute was raised earlier." 7. In view of the aforesaid finding and Judicial pronouncements, no relief can be granted to this Petitioner. 8. Consequently, the instant Writ Application stands dismissed.
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