(1.) The petitioner, who is a student of National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), has filed this writ petition seeking to quash the order dated 11.06.2018 under Annexure-11 rejecting his application for correction of date of birth.
(2.) The factual matrix of the case, in hand, is that the petitioner was prosecuting his study at M.R. Boys' High School, Parlakhemundi as a regular student. He appeared H.S.C. Examination in the year 2010 under the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa and became unsuccessful. Consequentially, he left the said school and was issued with transfer certificate (T.C.) bearing No. 1286501 dated 18.10.2010, along with Enrollment Card (E.C.) bearing No. DAM001/230/08 vide Annexures-1 and 2 respectively issued by the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa, wherein the date of birth of the petitioner was mentioned as "08.03.1994". On receipt of such certificate, the petitioner took admission at National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), which is an autonomous Institution under the Ministry of Human Resources Development (HRD) Department, Government of India, having its regional centre and accredited institutes all over India.
2.1. The petitioner took admission in Sri Lakshmi Gangapathi Degree College, Dharmapuri, Vizianagaram, which is affiliated to Regional Centre at Vishakapatham under NIOS, by producing the transfer certificate and the enrollment card issued by the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa. He appeared the H.S.C. Examination under Regional Center at Vishakhapatnam in the month of April, 2012 bearing Roll No. 932711200322 and became successful. After he became successful in the H.S.C. examination, he went to the Regional Centre, Vishakhapatnam on 15.08.2012 to obtain certificate from the authority. The provisional certificate, mark sheet and the migration-cum-transfer certificate were issued to the petitioner by the Director, NIOS Evaluation. After receipt of the same, the petitioner came to know that his date of birth in the certificate has been mentioned incorrectly as "18.03.1974", though his actual date of birth is "18.03.1994".
2.2. The petitioner immediately on 27.08.2012 applied to the authority in the format provided for the purpose of correction of certificate and also deposited Rs.500/- in the form of bank draft on 29.08.2012, along with an affidavit, seeking correction of the wrong entry of the date of birth in the aforesaid certificates on the basis of the transfer certificate and enrolment card issued by the B.S.E., Orissa, but no action was taken by the opposite parties. Consequentially, father of the petitioner, on 18.10.2012 submitted representation to the authority with a request to treat the matter as urgent and issue correct certificate immediately as his son has joined in ITI at Vishyakarma Industrial Training Centre, Berhampur with an undertaking to submit the corrected certificate in proof of his date of birth after issuance of the same by the authority under NOIS. In spite of such request being made, no action was taken. Subsequently, father of the petitioner again on 26.11.2012, 08.02.2013 and by making email correspondence on 08.01.2014 requested the Secretary and Director of Evaluation, NOIS, but all efforts gone in vain.
2.3. Due to non-grant of corrected certificate, the petitioner could not appear the examination of ITI. Consequentially, petitioner issued notice to the opposite party authorities through his advocate on 25.01.2016. Since no response came from the opposite parties, finding no other alternative, the petitioner preferred W.P.(C) No. 6831 of 2018, which was disposed of on 27.04.2018 directing opposite party no.2 to take a decision in accordance with law within four weeks from the date of the receipt of the order. In compliance of the order passed by this Court, the impugned order in Annexure-11 dated 11.06.2018 was passed, wherein it has been specifically mentioned that the NIOS does not permit for change in date of birth of learners and further provides that no change in the date of birth once recorded in the NIOS records shall be made. However, corrections to rectify the genuine typographical errors/ factual errors can be made. Application for correction in date of birth can be considered within three years from the date of registration in NIOS, but prior to appearing in the first examination, hence the case of the petitioner was badly barred by the limitation. It is also further mentioned that the petitioner has furnished the particulars at the time of admission in admission form which was kept by the Board (NIOS) for certification purpose and the certificate was issued to the petitioner on 12.06.2012. Thereby, due to the above reasons, no change in the date of birth can be considered at the late stage and the matter stands disposed of. Hence this application.
(3.) Mr. N.K. Sahu, learned counsel for the petitioner contended that at the time of admission, the petitioner had produced the transfer certificate annexed as Annexure-1 and also the enrollment card issued by the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa, which is annexed as Annexure-2, wherein the date of birth has been mentioned as "08.03.1994". But, when the petitioner passed the annual examination conducted by the NIOS, he was issued with provisional certificate, marks statement and migration-cum-transfer certificate, wherein the date of birth has been mentioned as "08.03.1974". It is contended that there may be some typographical error indicating the date of birth as "08.03.1974" in place of "08.03.1994". Therefore, as required under law, the petitioner applied in prescribed proforma for correction in the admission record, vide Annexure-4 series by depositing the requisites fees. Though the same was duly acknowledged, but not acted upon in spite of the several requests made by the petitioner and his father. Subsequently, in compliance of the direction given by this Court, vide order dated 27.04.2018 passed in W.P.(C) No. 6831 of 2018, the application of the petitioner was rejected on the plea of barred by limitation as three years period prescribed for correction of date of birth was already over. It is contended that the same is purely non-application of mind. As it reveals from the application submitted for correction, the same was produced on 27.08.2012 under Annexure-4 series, which is well within the time specified. Therefore, the reasons assigned in the impugned order cannot have any justification, particularly when the same contradicts the record itself. Thereby, the petitioner seeks for quashing of letter dated 11.06.2018 in Annexure-11 and prays for correction of date of birth. It is further contended that valuable time of the petitioner was lost due to callous attitude of the opposite parties no. 1 and 2 by not correcting the date of birth, which are based on record.;