State of Assam & ANR Vs. Daksha
Prasad Deka & Ors  INSC 228 (23 October 1970)
23/10/1970 SHAH, J.C.
CITATION: 1971 AIR 173 1971 SCR (2) 687 1970
SCC (3) 624
Natural Justice-Application for correction of
date of birth in service record-Filed within three years of date of actual
superannuation-If could be entertained.
The respondent was appointed Assistant
Sub-Inspector of Police with effect from January 17, 1929, and on his own
representation his date of birth was entered in the service record as July 1,
1910. Under F.R. 56(a) he was liable to be compulsorily retired on July 1,
1965. 'In 1963 he applied that the date of birth in the service record may be
corrected as. August 1, 1911. The application was rejected without giving him
an opportunity to support his case and he was informed on June 26, 1965. that
he would stand superannuated on June 30, 1965. He filed a writ petition in the
High Court and the High Court quashed the order dated June 26, 1965.
In appeal to this Court
HELD : Until the service record of a public
servant is corrected he cannot claim that he has been deprived of the guarantee
under Art. 311(2) of the Constitution by being compulsorily retired on
attaining the age of superannuation on the basis of the service record. A
public servant may dispute the correctness of the date of birth as entered in
the service record and may apply for its correction, but in view of S.R. 8
Note, which governed the employment of the respondent, an application for such
a correction could not be entertained if it was made within three years before
the date of 'actual superannuation'. The words 'actual superannuation' mean the
date of superannuation according to the service record, and not according to
the date of birth claimed by the public servant. The respondent represented
that he had attained the age of majority on the date on which he entered
service. It was not open to him to contend that under the appropriate service
rule he could not have been admitted to the service. [688 G-H, 689 A-B, F-G]
State of Orissa v. Dr. (Miss) Bimapani Dei,  2 S.C.R.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
No. 265, of 1966.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated January 10, 1966 of the Assam and Nagaland High Court in Civil Rule
No. 266 of 1965.
Naunit Lal, for the appellants.
R. Gopalakrishnan, for respondent No. 1.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Shah, J. Daksha Prasad Deka-hereinafter called 'the res- pondent'-was appointed
Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police with 688 effect from January 17, 1929. On a
representation made by the respondent the date of his birth was entered in the
service record as July 1, 1910. Under F.R. 56(a) the respondent was liable to be
compulsorily retired on July 1, 1965. In 1956 the respondent applied that the
date of birth entered in his service record 'be showing as August 1 191 1. That
application was rejected. The respondent again applied in 1963 for correction
of his date of birth. The application was, rejected and by order dated June 26,
1965, the respondent was informed that he win stand superannuated on June 30,
1965. His representation made to the Government of Assam against that order was
The respondent then applied to the High Court
of Assam praying for a writ in the nature of mandamus requiring the State ,of
Assam to forbear from giving effect to the order dated June 26, 1965. The High
Court quashed the order dated June 26, 1965 and directed the State of Assam to
give an opportunity to the respondent to show cause against the order directing
compulsory retirement and an opportunity to prove his true date of birth.
Against that order, this appeal is preferred with special leave.
In the opinion of the High Court if the true
date of birth of the respondent was August 1, 1 9 1 1, the order compulsorily
retiring- the respondent on June 30, 1965, without giving him an opportunity to
prove his true age, infringed the guarantee of Art. 311(2) of the Constitution.
In our judgment, the High Court was wrong in
holding that there was any infringement of Art., 311(2) of the Constitution.
In the service record of the respondent his
date of birth was recorded as July 1, 1910 and under F.R. 56(a) the respondent
was liable to be compulsorily retired on the date on which he attained the age
of 55 years. The date of compulsory retirement under F.R. 56(a) must in our
judgment, be determined on the basis of the service record, and not on what the
respondent claimed to be his date of birth, unless the service record is first
corrected consistently with the appropriate procedure. A public servant may
dispute,.the date of birth as entered, in the service record, and may apply for
correction of the record. But until the record is corrected, he cannot, claim
that he- has been deprived of the guarantee under Art. 311(2) of the
Constitution by being compulsorily retired on attaining the age of'
superannuation on the footing of the date of birth entered- in the service
It. is true that the State authorities did
not give to the respondent an opportunity to support his case that he was born
on 689 August 1, 1911, and that the service record was erroneous.
But in view of S.R. 8 Note, which governed
the employment of the respondent an application for correction of the service
record could not be entertained if it was made within three years before the
date of "actual superannuation". S,R. 8 Note provides "No
alteration in the date of birth of a Government servant should be allowed
except in very rare cases where a manifest mistake has been made. Such-
mistakes should be rectified at the earliest opportunity in the course of- (1)
periodical re-attestation of the entries in the first page of service book, and
(2) preparation of the annual detailed statement of a permanent establishment
(Financial Rule Form No. 11) in which is noted the date of, incumbent's birth.
In no case the request for change in the date of birth of a Government servant
made on a date with three years of the date of' his actual. superannuation'
should be entertain ed." Validity of the Rule is not challenged by the
are unable to agree with the view of the High
Court that the date of "actual superannuation" within, the meaning.
8 Note is the date of superannuation computed
with reference to the claim made by the public servant, and not with reference
to the date as entered-in the service record. If such an interpretation
be-accepted, S.R. 8 Note would prove in a majority of cases of no practical
utility. It is intended by S.R. 8 Note that any error 'in the service record
shall be rectified at the, earliest opportunity and in- no case should an
application for rectification be entertained within three years of the
"date of actual super- annuation". i.e. the date of superannuation
according to the service record.
Again, if the contention of the respondent
were correct, on the date on which he entered service he was a minor. If on a
representation that he had attained the age of majority on the date on which he
entered service, it would not be open for him, after being admitted to the
service, to contend that under the appropriate service rules he could not have
been admitted to the service, but for the misrepresentation made by him.
Counsel for the respondent relied upon the
judgment of this Court in State of Orissa v. Dr. (Miss) Binapani Dei & Ors.
(1) in support of the contention that a public servant must be given an
opportunity to prove his true date of birth before he is superannuated, and any
order passed without such opportunity is illegal. In our judgment Dr. (Miss)
Binapani's case(1) enunciates no such proposition. In that case in the service
record of a pub- (1) 1967 2 S. C. R.- 625 2-L 694 Sup. C.I/171 690 lic servant,
April 10, 1910 was entered as the date of 'her An enquiry was, held and the
public servant was required to show cause why her date of birth should not be
accepted as April 1907. Thereafter the Government of Orissa determined her of
birth as April 16, 1907, and declared that she should deemed to have been
superannuated on April 16, 1962. order was challenged by the public servant in
a petition to High Court of Orissa. The High Court held that the order the
State Government amounted to compulsory retirement before she attained the age
of superannuation and was contrary to the rules governing her service
conditions and amounted to removal within the meaning of Art. 311 of the
Constitution, and since :she was not given a reasonable opportunity of showing
cause against the action proposed to ';be taken in regard to her, the order was
invalid. This Court confirmed the order passed by the High Court of Orissa. It
was observed by this Court that ,even an administrative order which involved
civil consequences must be made consistently with the rules of natural justice
'The person concerned must be informed of the case of the State and the
evidence in support thereof and must be given a fair opportunity to meet the
case before an adverse decision is taken The public servant, according to the
service record, could not be superannuated before April 10, 1965. But by an
enquiry which was not held in a manner consistent with the rules of natural
justice an order was made altering the date of birth as entered in the service
record, and declaring that she was born in 1907 That was plainly an order
passed to the prejudice of the public servant without giving an opportunity to
meet the case of the State. In the present case, however, the State did not
seek to modify the service record: it was the respondent who sought
modification of the service record and claimed that he declared only on the
basis of the rectification prayed for by him. It is true that ordinarily when
an application is made for rectification of age by a public servant, the State
should give the applicant proper opportunity to prove his case and should give
due consideration to the evidence brought before it. But in the present case,
since the application for rectification was made within three years of the date
of actual superannuation, according to S.R. 8 Note the application could not
be, entertained. The principle of Dr. (Miss) Binapani's case(1) has no
application to this case.
The appeal is allowed and the order passed by
the High Court is set aside. The petition filed by the respondent shall stand
dismissed. There will be no order as to costs throughout.
V.P.S. Appeal at (1)  S.C.R. 625.