STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Vs. MOHANLAL SHARMA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
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(1.)The respondent herein passed his matriculation examination in the year 1955. The certificate for having passed matriculation examination indicated that the date of birth of the respondent is 19-4-1935. On the strength of the said matriculation certificate, the respondent secured appointment in government service as Lower Division Clerk. The date of birth recorded in the service-book was 19-4-1935. In the year 1975, the respondent joined subordinate accounts service. It is not disputed that on the basis of the date of birth as 19-4-1935, the respondent was to retire on 30-4-1993. It appears that six months before the retirement, the respondent filed an original application before the Madhya Pradesh State Administrative tribunal, alleging that his correct date of birth is 3-2-1937 and not 19-4-1935. In support of his case, the respondent furnished his horoscope and a certificate from the retired headmaster of the school to the effect that his correct date of birth is 3-2-1937. The Tribunal, relying upon these two documents, held that the correct date of birth of the respondent is 3-2-1937 and not 19-4-1935. On that premise, the original application was allowed and a direction was issued to correct the date of birth of the respondent in the service record as 3-2-1937. It is against the said judgment, the State of Madhya Pradesh is in appeal before us.
(2.)We have heard counsel for the parties and perused the record. It is not disputed that the date of birth recorded in the matriculation examination as also in the service record is 19-4-1935. It is also not disputed that the respondent joined service on 24-1-1955. If the contention of the respondent is that the correct date of birth is 3-2-1937, in that event the respondent could not have been appointed in service in the year 1955, as he was much less than 18 years of age. The date of birth, as recorded in the matriculation examination, carries a greater evidential value than the evidential value attached to the certificate given by the retired headmaster showing the date of birth of the respondent. Such an evidence is not to be preferred when, admittedly, the date of birth of the respondent as recorded in the matriculation examination was 19-4-1935. The Tribunal erred in relying on the certificate issued by the retired headmaster as well as the horoscope furnished by the respondent.
(3.)In that view of the matter, the appeal deserves to be allowed and the order under challenge is set aside. Before we part with the case, we would like to observe that since the respondent has served on the basis of the judgment under challenge for six months, the appellants shall not recover the salary which has already been paid to the respondent during that period.
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