Decided on July 18,1968



- (1.) The short question arising for decision is whether the alteration by Ext P-3 order of the date of birth of the petitioner entered in the Service Register from 15-12-1913 (1 5 1089 M. E ) into 13-12-1911 (28 4 1087 M. E.), is illegal, justifying interference by this Court, in proceedings under Art.226 of the Constitution.
(2.) The petitioner entered service on 17-1-1939 (1 12 1114 M. E.) Regulation.352F (c) of the Travancore Service Regulations which admittedly governed the petitioner is in these terms:- "352 F (c) The age of an officer whether gazetted or non gazetted, can be recorded only on receipt of satisfactory proof. Once the date of birth has been accepted and recorded in the service register it should form conclusive evidence of the same in respect of all future Government transactions. The entry in the service register should be full and it should indicate on what evidence the date of birth is accepted by the appointing officer or the Head of the office. The following shall be considered as satisfactory proof of age.- 1. An authenticated extract from the birth register or the baptismal register or the English School Leaving Certificate, or the admission register of a school or college where the officer last studied or a certificate by a Magistrate or other well known and trustworthy person in the town or village. 2. Original copy of the horoscope or correspondence at the time of birth supported by a declaration before the Head of the office; or 3. An affidavit of the parent of the applicant or a close relative who has knowledge of the approximate date of birth of the applicant signed before an officer who is competent to administer oath."
(3.) Apparently in accordance with the above provision proof was furnished of the date of birth of the petitioner and this was accepted by an order, dated 11-12-1940 corresponding to 26-4-1116 M. E. In the Service Book there is the following entry: "Verified with horoscope and found correct." ' We are marking the Service Register as Ext. R-4 and the portion where the above entry is seen as Ext. R-4 (a). Years afterwards a Memo Ext P-1, dated 17-12-1966 reading as under: - '1. THAT you, Sri E. Ramavarma Raja, Regional Transport Officer, Cannanore while employed in Government service as Plant Operator in the Development Department furnished incorrect date; i. e., 1-5-1089 as your date of birth to be entered in the Service Register (Service Book) fully knowing that your date of birth according to the records of Ennakkad Upper Primary School, C. M. S., L. G. V. School, Pallon, G. M. S. E. M. S., Pallon and C. M. S. H. S., Pallon was 28-4-1087. 2. THAT you disobeyed the directions issued by the Government in respect of the rectification of the defects or irregularity in the date of birth entered in Service Records, as per Government Circulars F1-96, dated 5th January 1942 and M3-2789/50/CS, dated 30th Jannuary1950 read with No. M3-2789/50/CS, dated 22nd February 1950 and that you have not taken any steps to get the Service Records examined and the defect in respect of your date of birth rectified on proper proof. Your action described above amounts to gross irregularity on your part. You are, therefore requested to show cause why disciplinary action as contemplated under the Kerala Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1960 should not be taken against you. You are allowed 15 days time from the date of receipt of this communication to put in a written statement of your defence. If the written statement of defense is not received within the said period, the matter will be proceeded with on the presumption that you have no defence. You are also requested to state whether you desire to be heard in person. A statement of allegations on the basis of which the charge is framed, and a list of documents, proposed to be relied on, are attached hereto. You may peruse the records mentioned in the list of documents and take down extracts, if so desired during office hours from the Secretariat in the presence of Deputy Secretary to Government, Home Department on any day prior to the due date for the submission of your written statement." was issued to the petitioner. An explanation Ext. P-2 was submitted by the petitioner to the Memo. But this was found unacceptable, and by Ext. P-3 order, the petitioner was censured. We may state here that the Memo Ext. P-1 proceeded on the basis that the petitioner was liable to be punished by taking action under the Kerala Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1960 because he had committed a misconduct. The misconduct as is seen from the Memo is the refusal to 'correct' the entry in the Service Register of the date of birth of the petitioner in accordance with the Circulars Exts. R-1, R-2 and R-3 issued by the Government in January 1942, January 1950 and February 1950. It is unnecessary to read the Circulars Exts. R-1 and R-2 which merely contain directions that all Government employees should correct the dates of birth given by them and entered in the Service Register if those dates are incorrect. These circulars were issued by the State Government because it is alleged the Government discovered that in many cases incorrect dates of birth had been furnished by Government employees. It is necessary to read the last paragraph of Ext. R-3: - "As a further clarification to these orders Government are pleased to order that in the case of graduates the entry in the College Certificate will be accepted as correct age and in the case of non graduates the school age is the authority.";

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