Decided on February 18,1983

Divisional Railway Manager Establishment Western Railway Vadodara Respondents


A.S.QURESHI - (1.) . In this petition the petitioner challenges the order No. ET/28/203 dated 31-12-82 purporting to be issued by the Divisional Railway Manager (B) Western Railway Baroda whereby the petitioner was told that he would be retired from the Railway service with effect from 8-1-1983 A. N. as having reached the age of superannuation whereupon the petitioner filed the present petition in this Court on 6 This Court issued notice and granted interim stay on 7-1-83.
(2.) . The petitioner belongs to the back-ward class community of Harijan and was employed as Sweeper in the Railways on and from 25 At that time the petitioner did not have any proof of his birth date. Hence he was sent for medical examination to ascertain his age. His approximate age having been ascertained by the medical officers the date of his birth was entered into the register as 6-12-1924 which was signed by the petitioner as having been accepted by him to be nearly correct. During the period of his service the petitioner did not take any steps to find out his correct birth date. Only when he was due to be superannuated that he seemed to be-stir himself to search out some piece of evidence with regard to his correct birth date. Ultimately it turned out that the petitioner who appeared to be illiterate had in fact gone to the Railway Primary School and had attended the same for some years. The Railway Primary School Sabarmati has issued School Leaving Certificate which shows the birth date of the petitioner as 7-3-1928 and that he was admitted to the School on 24 in the First Standard and that his name was struck off from the School register on 18-1-1941 on the ground that the petitioner had remained absent for a very long period. The petitioner is shown to have been in Std. 1V of the said Primary School when his name was struck off and his conduct and work was certified to be average and good.
(3.) . Relying on this School Leaving Certificate Mr. B. K. Amin the learned Counsel for the petitioner has urged that the petitioner belong- ing to a back-ward class community having irregularly attended the School for some time and his name having been struck off for long absence shows that at the highest he could be regarded as semi-literate. Mr. Amin has urged that at the time of the recruitment of the petitioner his date of birth was not known to him and therefore the Railway Administration had obtained the medical opinion regarding the petitioners age which could only be approximately correct and the exact date of birth could not have been ascertained by the medical examination. Hence Mr. Amin submits that 6-12-1924 could not be the correct date of birth of the petitioner as entered in the service sheet. Mr. Amin has also urged that now the School Leaving certificate issued by the Primary School Sabarmati run by the Western Railway itself is the most reliable piece of evidence and the Railway Authorities should have no hesitation in accepting the said certificate and the birth date of the petitioner shown therein as correct.;

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