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South Eastern Coalfields Limited and Ors. Vs. Ashok Kumar Thakur - (High Court of Chhattisgarh) (06 Mar 2020)

Matriculation certificate is an authentic document for ascertaining date of birth of an employee cannot be doubted unless it is proved to be forged



In present case, correctness and sustainability of the order passed in Writ Petition is put to challenge wherein the learned Single Judge allowed the writ petition filed by the Respondent-Employee while quashing the orders, wherein Appellant-Employer has determined the date of birth of the Respondent-Employee as 14.11.1958 by the Age Determination Committee ('ADC'). The learned Single Judge taking note of the judgment passed in the matter of Mithilesh Sharma v. SECL held that Respondent-Employee would be permitted to continue in service accepting his date of birth to be taken as 14th November, 1960.

The Appellant-Employer submits that the letter dated 1st February, 1999 issued by the Ministry of Coal, Government of India is based on the consideration of an employee/Mazdoor to be engaged in employment only after attaining the age of 18 years except he produce required certificate from competent authority and looking to the age of superannuation/retirement of 60 years, the maximum period of service of employee/Mazdoor will not be more than 42 years. It is pointed out that a minor cannot be engaged in employment as Mazdoor. Looking to the date of employment and the period of service as per his date of birth, the Respondent-Employee will work for more than 60 years, which is contrary to the provisions of Certified Standing Orders.

Implementation Instruction No. 76 provides for method/procedure for determination of the age at the time of appointment under Clause A(i). It provides that the employees who passed matriculates and the date of birth recorded in the said certificate shall be treated as correct date of birth and the same will not be altered under any circumstances.

In the facts of the case, the Appellant-Employer should have taken into consideration matriculation certificate issued from the Board of Secondary Education,. As per Implementation Instruction No. 76, the matriculation certificate is one of the authentic documents for ascertaining the date of birth of an employee. Subsequent presentation of certificate cannot be doubted unless it is proved to be forged when at the time of entry into service as Mazdoor, no document is required to be submitted of an employee including the document of date of birth.

When the date of birth mentioned in the office record as of the year 1976 and date of birth in matriculation certificate are same, then reliance placed upon the report of the Radiological test was not proper. As per medical jurisprudence, the determination of age on the basis of Radiological test, there is variation of age of ± (plus/minus) 2 years, and hence, it cannot be said to be conclusive. The Appellant-Employer has not placed on record any impeachable evidence to show that the date of birth of Respondent-Employee recorded in service record was not correct.

There is no doubt that the Employer can take recourse of correction of date of birth of any of its Employees, but he should be in possession of satisfactorily, admissible and irrefutable piece of evidence with him, particularly, when the Employer wants to correct date of birth recorded by one of its Employees, in service record of any other Employee at the time of entering into the service of that particular Employee. There is no infirmity in the impugned order passed by learned Single Judge. The appeal is hereby dismissed.


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