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State of Orissa & Ors Vs. Shri Ramanath Patnaik [1997] INSC 371 (2 April 1997)

K. RAMASWAMY, D.P. WADHWA

ACT:

HEADNOTE:

Present:

Hon'ble Mr. Justice K. Ramaswamy Hon'ble Mr. Justice D.P. Wadhwa P.N. Mishra, Adv. for the appellants N.R. Choudhary,Adv. for the Respondent The following order of theCourt was delivered:

O R D E R This appeal by special leave arises fromthe judgment of thelearnedsingleJudge of the Orissa High Court,made on February 21,1986 inSecond Appeal No. 767/81, dismissing the second appeal in limine.

Admittedly, the respondent joinedthe State service as a Clerk on 21.3.1944. According to the Matriculation Certificate produced at the time of the entry into the service, his date of birth is January 1, 1921.On attaining the superannuation, heretired from service on 31.12.1978.

He filed a suit in the year 1981 on the basis of the rejection of his representation of declaration that his correctdate of birth is January 1, 1925 and not January 1, 1921. The trialCourt dismissedthe suit, but on appeal, the Additional District Judge, Bhubaneshwardecreedthe suit. As stated earlier, the second appeal was dismissed by theHigh Court. Thus, this appeal by special leave.

The controversy is no longer res integra. This Court has considered the entire case law on this point in State of Tamil Nadu vs. T.V. Venugopalan[(1994)6 SCC 302]. Therein, this Court has held thus :

"It is well knownthat the service record would be opened after the government servant enters the service record would be countersigned by the government servant. The date of birth as entered inthe school record is the source of materialfor making entry inthe service record." When entry was made in the service record and when he was inservice, he did not make anyattemptto have the servicerecordcorrected. Therefore, any amount of evidence produced subsequently would beof no avail. The High Court, therefore, hascommitted manifest error of law in refusing to entertain the secondappeal.

The appeal is accordinglyallowed. The judgment of the High Court stand set aside. The judgment and decree of the appellate Court standsreversed and that of the trial Court stands confirmed. No costs.

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