RANJIT KUMAR CHATTERJEE Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
RANJIT KUMAR CHATTERJEE
UNION OF INDIA
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(1.) IN this writ petition the petitioner has challenged the decision of the respondents Nos. 1 and 2 refusing to alter his date of birth in service record from', 18. 7. 1918 to 8. 7. 1928 and applied for appropriate relief
(2.) THE material facts appearing from the affidavits of the parties may be narrated briefly. The petitioner who is not a matriculate was appointed as Mechanic, Grade II in M. T O Dufferin Pool of the U. S. Army with effect from 13. 9. 1944 during the second world war In the service book of the petitioner opened by the American Military Authority the petitioner's date of birth was recorded as 18. 7. 1918. After the war was over the petitioner's service was transferred to the office of the Director General of supplies. and Disposals in 1948 and from there to the Indian Bureau of Mines in 1957 where from. he was finally; absorbed in the office of the Geological Survey of India in 1960. In 1959 the petitioner submitted to the concerned authority of the Indian Bureau of Mines, Nagpur his school leaving certificate in original in connection with verification of his date of birth. The said original certificate was net returned to him and so he wrote a letter dated 8. 1. 1960 for its return (vide Annexure 'k'), but he did not get it back. In the gradation list published by the Indian Bureau of Mines the petitioner's date of birth was Shown as 8. 7. 1928. So the petitioner had no occasion to doubt that his date of birth was not correctly entered in his service records. On 8th July 1674 at the instance of the then Director of Administration, Geological Survey of India (hereinafter called the G. S. I.) the petitioner inspected the entry in his service book regarding his date of birth and came to know that it was recorded as 18. 7. 1918 instead of 8. 7. 1928. Thereafter the petitioner submitted a representation on 9. 8. 74 to the said authority pointing out the error and praying for its correction. In course of the correspondence that followed the petitioner referred to the gradation list prepared by the Indian Bureau of Mines in which his date of birth had been correctly recorded as 8. 7. 1928 for which he did not make any representation for correction of his service record earlier. In. December 1975 the respondent No. 2 Director of Administration, G. S. I. requested the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) 24 Parganas to give his opinion on the age of the petitioner after examining him medically, The petitioner appeared before the CMOH. 24 Parganas on 29. 12. 1975 and was referred to dr. J. N. Dey Majumdar, Radiologist of. Magni Ram Bungur Hospital for radiological examination to ascertain his age. The radiologist gave his opinion that the age of the petitioner was between 45 and 50. The CMOH concurred with that opinion. He also admitted the age appearing from a copy of the school leaving certificate produced by the petitioner in which his date of birth was recorded. 8. 7. 1928. The medical report is Annexure 'd' to the writ petition. Thereafter the respondent No. 2 directed the petitioner to produce the original school leaving certificate. The petitioner produced an attested copy of the school leaving certificate (Annexure 'f') as the original had not been returned to him by the indian Bureau of Mines. Thereafter on being directed by the respondent No. 2 to produce a corroborative certificate the petitioner obtained such a certificate from the District School Board, Dhanbad on 28. 9. 76. This averment in the writ petition has not been controverted. In response to a query from the office of the respondent No. 2 the District Education. Officer, Dhanbad also wrote to the Administrative Officer, G. S. I (respondent no. 4) in September 1976 that the petitioner's date of birth recorded in (the admission register of the school (G. N. M. Higher Secondary School) Kathrasgrh dhanbad) was 8. 7. 1928 and enclosed with that letter the copy of the school leaving certificate which had been forwarded for verification. Thereafter the respondent No. 2 wrote to the Secretary, Ministry of Steel and Mines (Department of Mines) in which he referred to the clarification obtained from the petitioner, the attested copy of the school leaving certificate and produced the seniority list supplied by the Deputy Director General, Central Region without supporting document and the report of the medical authority on the petitioner's age. The concluding portion of the said letter (Annexure 'e') is as follows:-
"in view of the fact that his date of birth as furnished in his school leaving certificate tallies with that of medical certificate now obtained it is requested that the Government of india may be pleased to issue necessary orders authorizing this department to alter his date of birth from. " 18. 7. 18. to 8. 7. 28 but the petitioner was retired from service with effect from 31. 7. 1976. The respondent No. 2 informed him by a letter dated 2. 2. 78 (Annexure 'i') that the Government of India, disagreed to the proposal for alteration of his date of birth and so the petitioner's release from the department with effect from 31. 7. 76 (afternoon) was in order. The petitioner made several representations to the Government of India. He was again informed by a letter dated 20. 1. 79 by the respondent No. 2 of the Government of India's decision not to alter the date of birth in his service record (Annexure' 'n' ). The petitioner had to make a statement dated 211. 79. in the form for drawing pensionary benefit in accordance with the entries including the entry regarding his date of birth in his service book as otherwise no pension would be granted to him. .
(3.) THE relevant statutory rule regarding correction of age of a Central Government employee is rule 79 of the General Finance Rules which is as follows :-
"79. Date of Birth (1) Every person newly. appointed to a service or a post under Government shall at -the time of the appointment declare the date of birth by the christian era with as far as possible confirmatory documentary evidence such as a matriculation certificate, municipal birth certificate and so on. If the exact date is not known an approximate date shall be given. (2) The actual date or the assumed date determined under rule 80 shall be recorded in the history of service, service book, or any other record that may be kept in respect of the Government servant's service under Government and once recorded it cannot be altered except in the case of clerical error, without the previous orders of a department of the Central Government or an Administrator" ,;
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