19. Application for postponement on grounds of hardship.-
(1) Any qualified person who is for the time being liable to be called up for national service under this Act and who has been served with a notice referred to in sub-section (1) of section 13, or any employer of such qualified person, may apply, in the prescribed manner to the Central Government for a certificate of postponement of liability to be called up for national service on the ground that exceptional hardship would ensue if such qualified person were called up for national service, and may, on that ground apply, in the prescribed manner, for the renewal of the postponement certificate granted to him.
(2) Where an application for a postponement certificate or for the renewal thereof is made, the Central Government shall refer the application for decision to the National Service (Hardship) Committee.
(3) No application for the grant of a postponement certificate shall be referred by the Central Government to the National Service (Hardship) Committee unless such application is made within sixty days from the date of service of the notice referred to in sub-section (1) of section 13:
Provided that the Central Government may refer an application for the grant of a postponement certificate to the National Service (Hardship) Committee made after the expiry of the said period if it is satisfied, having regard to the grounds on which the application is made, that the making thereof has not been unreasonably delayed.
(4) The Central Government may by regulations specify the principles to be applied and the circumstances to which regard is to be or not to be had for the hearing of an application for the grant or renewal of a postponement certificate and as to the period for which the postponement certificate may be granted or renewed.
(5) The National Service (Hardship) Committee may, after consideration of the application for a postponement certificate or renewal thereof, grant or reject the same.
(6) The period within which the postponement certificate is in force shall be added to the period during which the person to whom the certificate was granted is liable under this Act to be called up for national service and accordingly this Act shall in relation to that person have effect as if for reference therein to the age of thirty years, there were substituted, an age being the sum of thirty years and the period during which-
(i) the postponement certificate is in force, and
(ii) the enlistment notice was of no effect by reason of the provisions of clause (b) of sub-section (4) of section 14.
(7) If any qualified person or an employer makes an application for a postponement certificate on a ground which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true or on a ground which, in the opinion of the National Service (Hardship) Committee, is frivolous, he shall be liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.