Barin Ghosh, C.J. -
(1.) In the Service Register, which has been produced in Court, the date of birth of the appellant was shown as 6th May, 1951, both in English numerals as well as in Hindi words. Later, the same was altered to 6th May, 1955, both in English numerical as well as in Hindi words, without, however, any authentication of anyone. If the appellant was born on 6th may, 1951, she was to retire on 31st May, 2011. Proceeding on the basis that the appellant was born on 6th May, 1951, she was retired on 31st May, 2011. After she was so retired, appellant approached this Court by filing a writ petition. In the writ petition, the principal contention of the appellant was that she obtained the compassionate appointment in a Class-IV post on 14th September, 1987 in Dying in Harness category. It was the contention of the appellant that, at the time when she was given the appointment, she was asked to produce proof of her date of birth and, in support thereof, she had produced a Family Register duly signed by the Gram Pradhan concerned on 29th November, 1986, where it has been clearly indicated that she was born on 6th May, 1955 and not on 6th May, 1951. It was, therefore, contended that there was a mistake on the part of the person filling up the service book of the appellant to write the date of birth of the appellant as 6th May, 1951 and, no sooner the said mistake was detected, the same was corrected by recording the date of birth of the appellant as 6th May, 1955. It was contended that there was no just reason for retiring the appellant with effect from 31st May, 2011. While considering the writ petition, a learned Single Judge of this Court noted that before the appellant was retired, on 1st December, 2010, appellant had moved an application for correction of her date of birth. The said application was followed by yet another application made on 12th May, 2011. As aforesaid, the learned Single Judge looked at the service records and found that 6th May, 1951 has been replaced by 6th May, 1955. The learned Judge, then, took notice of the fact that, in terms of the 1974 Rules, the date of birth recorded in the service book shall be treated as the date of birth of the government servant for all practical purposes and, accordingly, dismissed the writ petition.
(2.) In the Appeal, it is the contention of the appellant that, according to the own showing of the respondents, the applications made by the appellant on 1st December, 2010 and 12th May, 2011 remained in cold storage, but, at the same time, the service book clearly depicts that the date of birth was changed. The question is, who changed it and on what authority? The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that, according to the mandate of the State, it was obligatory on the part of the appellant at the time of her entrance to prove her date of birth for the purpose of recording the same in her service book. According to the respondents, apart from that Family Register, there is nothing on record to prove the date of birth of the appellant. The fact remains, as submitted by the learned counsel for the appellant, that the Family Register was issued on 29th November, 1986 and the appellant was appointed on 14th September, 1987 and that Family Register has been made a part of the service record of the appellant by permanently affixing the same with the service record. It was submitted, therefore, that there is every reason to believe and, particularly, having regard to the nature of the pen and the ink used for altering the date, that by mistake originally 51 was recorded and, soon thereafter, the same was converted into 55. We have looked into the original and find that the English letter 1 was converted to English letter 5 by the same pen using the same ink and, similarly, the Hindi word 'bD; kou was altered to the Hindi word ipiu by using the same pen and the same ink. There is an initial above the Hindi word ipiu. Unfortunately, no effort has been made by the respondents to ascertain, whose initial the same was. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out as submitted by the appellant that the original mistake was immediately rectified and 51 recorded by mistake was corrected by recording 55. Benefit thereof must be given to the appellant.
(3.) We, accordingly, interfere, set aside the judgment and order under Appeal and, at the same time, allow the Appeal by directing the respondents to proceed on the basis that the date of birth of the appellant as recorded in her service book is 6th May, 1955 and, accordingly, she shall be entitled to serve until 31st May, 2015, unless the age of superannuation is altered. However, since the appellant did not serve from 1st June, 2011 until today, in view of what has been stated above, it shall be deemed that she was on extra ordinary leave during that period without pay. Let the appellant be permitted to join her duties tomorrow.;