1. The captioned writ petition is filed challenging the impugned endorsement dated 18.12.2019 issued by respondent No.1 as per Annexure-B.2. Brief facts of the top noted writ petition are as under:The petitioner is claiming that he is holder of B.E. Degree of Civil Engineering. The case of the petitioner is that he was appointed as Task Force Commander on consolidated pay on 17.10.1984. His services were regularized by an order dated 08.08.1998 and he was further promoted as Assistant Executive Engineer in 2015. At the time of recording his date of birth in the service register, he had furnished SSLC Marks Card, in which the date of birth is shown as 27.06.1960.3. The case of the petitioner is that while applying for necessary certificate under Article 371-J of the Constitution of India, he realized that his date of birth entered in the St.Mary's Hospital Register at Ballari as 27.06.1962. The petitioner immediately obtained the birth certificate and submitted to the same to the respondents requesting them to alter his date of birth entered in the service register. The petitioner had submitted SSLC certificate based on which there is entry in the service records. The petitioner is claiming alteration in date of birth based on birth certificate issued by the Tahasildar, Hospet dated 04.07.2015. Based on this birth certificate, it appears that petitioner submitted a representation on 15.09.2015 requesting the respondent authorities to alter his date of birth in the service register. The further case of the petitioner is that since his claim for alteration of date of birth was not considered by the respondents, he was compelled to approach this Court in W.P.No.108491/2016 seeking writ of mandamus. This Court allowed the writ petition and directed the respondents to consider the application dated 15.09.2015 in accordance with law. The petitioner has furnished the order passed by this Court in W.P.No.108491/2016.4. After disposal of the writ petition by this Court, petitioner submitted one more representation on 22.07.2017 requesting the respondents to implement the order of this Court. At para 5 of the writ petition there is also an averment indicating that respondent No.2 sought clarification from the Commissioner, Bellary Mahanagara Palike about the authenticity of birth certificate and statement of register of birth maintained by the Municiaplity on 28.06.2018. The case of the petitioner is that, respondent No.2 has sought clarification and Commissioner, Ballary has confirmed that the birth certificate and the statement of register of birth of the petitioner as genuine and petitioner has relied on these communications of respondent No.2 and same are produced before this Court vide Annexures-G, H, J and K respectively.5. The further case of the petitioner is that since the order passed by this Court in W.P.No.108491/2016 was not implemented, the petitioner approached this Court in contempt proceedings in CCC No.100065/2019. During the pendency of the contempt proceedings, respondent No.1 issued an endorsement dated 12.04.2019 as per Annexure-L stating that the application submitted by the petitioner seeking alteration of his date of birth is beyond the time frame specified under Section 5 of the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974. Being aggrieved by the said endorsement, the petitioner approached this Court in W.P.No.109447/2019. This Court allowed the writ petition by order dated 05.11.2019 with the following observation:"That being the position, the petitioner is partly allowed and the impugned endorsement dated 12.04.2019 is hereby quashed and set aside. The respondent corporation is hereby directed to re-consider the representation made by the petitioner in the light of decision of this Hon'ble Court in the case of T.P.Nataraja supra and having regard to the fact that the darte of Birth of the said employee has been corrected in his Service Register following the decision of this Court."6. The petitioner by furnishing copy of the order passed by this Court in W.P.No.109447/2019 and also by relying on the judgment of this Court passed in RFA No.1674/2013 wherein similarly placed employee's request for alteration of date of birth was considered by the respondent and the same was implemented, submitted one more representation on 15.11.2019. It is in this background, respondent No.1 having examined the claim of the petitioner has passed the impugned endorsement bearing No.KRIDL/EST/WP-109447/2019-20, dated 18.12.2019 as per Annexure-P. Being aggrieved by the same, the petitioner is before this Court.7. Learned counsel for the petitioner would vehemently argue and contend before this Court that impugned endorsement passed by respondent No.1 as per Annexure-P is contrary to the findings recorded by this Court in W.P.No.109447/2019 as per Annexure-M. The counsel for the petitioner by relying on the judgment of this Court rendered in RFA No.1674/2013 would contend before this Court that, this Court while examining the case of T.P.Nataraja has recorded a finding that the provisions of the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974 are not applicable to the employees of respondent No.1-Corporation and in spite of petitioner furnishing the judgment rendered by this Court in RFA No.1674/2013 and also the directions issued by this Court in W.P.No.109447/2019, the present impugned endorsement is issued by respondent No.1 which is palpably erroneous and as such, would warrant interference by this Court.8. Learned counsel for the petitioner would also contend that even if the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974 was adopted by the respondent No.1-Corporation, the adoption was not at all notified to its employees and as such, they cannot reject the application filed by the petitioner seeking alteration of date of birth based on birth certificate issued by the competent authority.9. Per contra learned Senior Counsel Sri G.S.Kannur would vehemently argue and contend before this Court that insofar as judgment and decree passed in RFA No.1674/2013 is concerned, respondents have questioned the validity and correctness of the judgment and decree before the Hon'ble Apex Court and notices are ordered and matter is pending for consideration. He would also bring to the notice of this Court that, though since learned single Judge of this Court had issued a mandamus directing the respondents to consider the representation made by the petitioner in the light of the decision of this Court in the case of T.P.Nagaraja, the said order is also questioned before the Apex Court by filing a Special Leave Petition.10. To buttress his arguments, he would rely on the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court rendered in Life Insurance Corporation of India and others Vs. R.Basavaraju Alias Basappa, (2016) 15 SCC 781 and Civil Appeal No.1009/2020. Learned Senior Counsel by relying on these two judgments would contend before this Court that petitioner relying on SSLC Marks Card submitted an application when he was appointed as Task Force Commander on consolidated pay on 17.10.1984. Based on SSLC Marks Card, respondents have incorporated in the petitioner's descriptive roll kept in his service register and this declaration is accepted by the corporation. Once it is accepted, the petitioner is not entitled to seek alteration. Learned Senior Counsel would further submit to this Court that petitioner's services were regularized by order dated 08.08.1998 and he was further promoted as Assistant Executive Engineer. Hence, in this background, he would submit to this Court that, even when he was regularized in the year 1998, the petitioner had an opportunity to seek correction and this benefit was not availed by submitting an application seeking alteration. Learned Senior Counsel would refute the contention of the petitioner that he was not aware of the resolution dated 17.05.1991 wherein, the respondent corporation adopted Karnataka Civil Service Rules, 1988 and also allied Rules.11. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and respondents.12. Admittedly, the fact that the petitioner joined the services on 07.10.1984 as Task Force Commander on consolidated pay is the accepted position. It is also not in dispute that, petitioner's date of birth was submitted and accepted by the respondents in terms of date of birth referred in the SSLC Marks Card. The question that would arise before the Court is in two folds.13. In present case on hand, the petitioner is claiming alteration of his date of birth by relying on birth certificate as against his SSLC Marks Card which was traced by him in the year 2015. Basing his claim on birth certificate issued by the Tahasildar, Hosapete dated 04.07.2015 and by relying on the judgment rendered by this Court in RFA No.1674/2013, the petitioner is asserting that he is entitled to seek alteration of his date of birth on parity with one T.P.Nagaraja who has succeeded in RFA.No.1674/2013. He is also relying on the order passed by this Court in W.P.No.109447/2019, wherein this Court has issued a direction to consider the case of the petitioner in terms of the judgment rendered in the case of T.P.Nagaraja.14. On perusal of material on record and the procedure contemplated under the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974, Section 4 clearly contemplates that there is a bar to seek alteration of date of birth by relying on the judgment, decree or order. Section 4 reads as under."4. Bar of alternation of age except under the Act.- Notwithstanding anything contained in any law or any judgment, decree or order of any court or other authority, no alteration of the age or date of birth of a State servant as accepted and recorded or deemed to have been accepted and recorded in his service register or book or any other record of service under Section 3 shall, in so far as it relates to his conditions of service as such State servant, be made except under Section 5."15. The object of the Act is to provide for determination of the age of State Servants only insofar it relates to their conditions. It is for this limited purpose that provisions have been made for determining the age of State Servants. Section 3 of the Act contains detailed provisions for determination of age on entry into State services. It inter-alia provides that the age and date of birth accepted and recorded or deemed to have been accepted in the service register or book or any other record of service under sub-section (2) of Section 3 or as the case may be, sub-section (3), shall subject to any alteration made under Section 5, be applicable for all purposes relating to the conditions of service including superannuation and retirement of the employee concerned.16. On perusal of Section 5, it is clearly evident that, proviso to sub-section (1) contemplates that if age, date of birth of State servant has been accepted and recorded no such alteration is permissible to the advantage of the State Servant. Sub-section (2) of Section 5 contemplates limitation and provides for necessary alteration in regard to date of birth within three years from the date on which his age and date of birth is accepted and recorded in the service register.17. This Court has to bear in mind that petitioner is an educated person and at paragraph No.1 in the writ petition, he is stated that he is holder of the B.E. degree in Civil Engineering. In this background, the case of the petitioner needs to be examined. It is a matter of common knowledge that most of State Servants invariably educated persons often even seeking extension of their employment by resorting to seek correction in regard to their date of birth. As the State Servants are required to retire attaining the age of superannuation, acceptance by the appointing authority of correct date of birth assumes great importance.18. The Division Bench of this Court in the case of C.P.Govindarajan and another Vs. State of Karnataka and others, (1984) 1 KarLJ 328 was of the view that, persons occupying very high positions have also succumbed to such temptations in seeking correction of their date of birth at the fag end of their service. The Division Bench of this Court was also of the view that Educated persons are expected to know their correct date of birth and are therefore expected to furnish material in that behalf at the time of their entering into service by themselves giving a particular date entering into service itself. In the present case on hand the petitioner relying on SSLC Marks Card, which is also an authenticated public document, intimated the same to the authorities while joining the service and the authorities by relying on this authenticated document entry in regard to date of birth of the petitioner was accepted. Once the details in regard to date of birth furnished by the State Servant is accepted and attained finality, the above said act discourages bringing in any alteration to the date of birth at the fag end of the service. The object of prescribing limitation in subsection (2) of Section 5 is to ensure that finality in the matter is reached at an early date and the position becomes certain for every one concerned. The Division Bench further proceeded to hold in the above said case that, having regard to the object and scheme of the Act, it is obvious that the legislature intended that the Act should be a complete and self contained Code in regard to determination or alteration of the age or date of birth of state servants in so for as it pertains to their conditions of service. Hence, it is obvious that in the interest of administration and in the interest of all State Servants that there should be finality in regard to acceptance of date of birth.19. In view of Division Bench judgment and provisions contained in the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974, this Court has to examine the claim of the petitioner and also to examine as to whether he can take benefit of decree passed in RFA No.1674/2013. I am of the view that, petitioner cannot take benefit of a judgment and decree, to which, he is not a party and moreover, it is not in dispute that judgment and decree passed by this Court in RFA No.1674/2013 is questioned before the Hon'ble Apex Court and the same is pending for consideration. Merely because, in the said judgment similarly placed employee's date of birth was determined on adjudication, that cannot be a ground for the petitioner to seek alteration. The SSLC Marks Card produced as per Annexure-B pertains to the petitioner and contrary to this, he has come with a birth certificate issued by the Tahasildar, Hosapete, which is obviously seriously disputed by the present respondents. Both the documents are contradictory to each other and there is no adjudication on the correctness of these two documents. The petitioner cannot assert and claim that the date of birth mentioned in SSLC Marks Card is incorrect which is also a public document. There is no adjudication on these two conflict documents. When an enquiry into conflicted question of fact would arise, the High Court in its discretion in appropriate cases would decline to enter upon enquiry into the same under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India. This Court cannot cross the self imposed restriction in writ jurisdiction converting the same to appellate forum. Article 226 is not meant to short circuit or circumvent statutory procedure. In this background, petitioner simply cannot rely on the judgment passed in RFA No.1674/2013 and communications issued by the Commissioner Ballari, Mahanagara Palike in regard to authenticity of birth certificate and Statement of Register of Birth maintained by Municipality.20. This Court would reject the contention of the petitioner that, he is entitled to claim benefit of the judgment and decree passed in RFA.No.1674/2013. It is not in dispute that the said judgment and decree is already challenged before the Hon'ble Apex Court and the same is pending for consideration. It is the specific case of the respondents that the judgment and decree passed by this Court is one without jurisdiction. The very validity of the judgment and decree is an issue before the Apex Court. The judgment and decree passed in RFA No.1674/2013 has not attained finality. The controversy in regard to defect in jurisdiction, whether it is pecuniary or territorial or in respect of subject matter of action is pending for consideration before the Apex Court.21. It is a trite law that, validity of such a decree which lacks inherent jurisdiction can be challenged at any stage even in execution and collateral proceedings. In this background, I am of the view that, since the decree passed in RFA No.1674/2013 has not attained finality, the petitioner cannot have the benefit of the same.22. The judgment relied on by the respondents in the case of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. And others Vs. Shyam Kishore Singh, (2020) AIR SC 940 , is squarely applicable to the case on hand. The Hon'ble Apex Court relying on several judgments has 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. The Hon'ble Apex Court was of the view that, if a particular date of birth is entered in the service register, a change sought cannot be entertained at the fag end of service after accepting the same to be correct during entire service. The Apex Court was also of the view that, in similar decision the Apex 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 Hon'ble Apex Court by reiterating the proposition rendered by the Apex Court in the case of Home Deptt. Vs. R.Kirubakaran has held 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 the process.23. The second part of the argument by the petitioner that the provisions of the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974 are not applicable to the present case on hand and as such respondent No.1 was not justified in applying the provisions of Section 5(2) of the said Act and reject the claim. This argument is difficult to accede to. This argument is also not tenable in the light of the finding recorded by the Hon'ble Apex Court in Bharat Cooking Case by relying on the judgment rendered in the case of State of M.P Vs. Premlal Shrivas, wherein it is held as under:"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 su
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ch 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."24. Even if for the sake of argument, the contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioner is accepted that the provisions of the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974 are not applicable, this Court still compelled to examine the factual score that is depicted in the present writ petition which reflects laches and laxness on the part of the petitioner in approaching the authorities seeking correction in the date of birth. Inordinate and unexplained delay or laches on the part of the State servant cannot be considered at the fag end of his service. Government policy regarding rejection of belated claim for alteration in date of birth has been reinforced by the findings and observations of the Hon'ble Apex Court in catena of judgments. Hence, inaction on the part of the petitioner for a period almost 31 years from the date of joining into service would preclude the petitioner from seeking that entry of his date of birth in the service record was not correct. The plea of mistake at the time of initial declaration cannot be entertained at this stage. Petitioner has given declaration of his age amongst other particulars in a proforma descriptive roll which is signed by the petitioner. Consequently, a service books is prepared where the date of birth is accepted and recorded in service book. On the basis of age mentioned in the service book, the date of superannuation is determined.25. For the reasons stated supra, the writ petition is devoid of merits is accordingly dismissed.