Report No. 69
It may be useful to take a few illustrations from decided cases.
14.12. Register of the school-date of birth.-
The Education Code in various States requires the Headmaster of each recognised school to prepare and maintain an admission register of the pupils admitted to that particular school. Of the several particulars to be entered in such a register, the date of birth of the pupils, as stated by the parent or guardian, is an important item. Thus, the admission register is a public record, maintained by the head of the institution, who is in duty bound to maintain such a register containing certain particulars relating to each pupil as required by the Education Code.
In making such entries in the admission register the head of the institution, who is a public servant, is merely discharging his official duty. Such entries, therefore, made by a public servant in a public or official register in the discharge of his official duty would be relevant under section 35. The date of birth as entered in such an official record is, therefore, a relevant fact, and can be proved by production of that record. It has been so held in a Patna case1.
A similar view was taken by the Kerala High Court2.
1. Bhim Mandal v. Magaram Gosain, AIR 1961 Pat 21 (24, 26), paras. 13 and 41.
2. Vishnu Maheswaran Nampoothiri v. Kuravilla Kochitry Kuravilla, AIR 1957 Ker 103 (104).
14.13. Certified copies from a school register, showing that on 20th Tune, 1960, K was under 17 years of age, and the affidavit of the father stating the date of her birth, and the statement of K to the police with regard to her own age, all amount to evidence under the Evidence Act. An extract from the register of the school is admissible in evidence to prove the age.1
1. (a) Maharaj Bhanudas v. Krishna Bal, AIR 1927 Born 11 (99);
(b) Indian Cotton Company Ltd. v. Raghunath Han Deshpande, AIR 1931 Born 178 (181
14.14. Matriculation Certificate.-
Entries in the school registers as to age are admissible under section 35, as entries made by a public servant in a public or official register in the discharge of his official duty. When he had any special means of knowledge so as to make the entry relevant itself does not affect the admissibility of the entry, though it may affect its value. Section 35 stands itself independently of section 32(5).1
On the question of age. a Matriculation Certificates is also clearly admissible2under section 35.
1. Aga Jan Khan Rahimkhan v. Kesho Rao Nathuram Maratha, AIR 1940 Nag 217.
2. Harishkesh v. Sushil Chandra Maulik, AIR 1957 Cal 211 (214): 60 CWN 1053.
14.15. Birth and death register is a public document.-
Entries in a death register kept at a police station in accordance with the police Regulations made under section 12 of the Police Act (5 of 1861) are also relevant, even though the entries are made in chronological order and not in the prescribed form.1 A register of death kept by police officers at thanas, under the rules made by the local Government, is a public document within the meaning of section 74 and under section 114, a court is entitled to presume that an entry made in such register was properly made, and a certified copy of such entry is admissible in evidence.'2
1. Shib Deo Misra v. Ram Prasad, ILR 46 All 637.
2. Tamijuddin Sarkar v. Taju, ILR 46 Cal 152.
14.16. In the English case of Ratcliffe v. Radcliff and Anderson, ILR 46 Cal 152, it was pointed out that a register of births and deaths kept under the orders of the East India Company was a public document. Lord Campbell in that judgment speaks of the register having been kept in obedience to directions given by the East India Company in its sovereign capacity. No legislation of the company is referred to as having authorised the keepity, of such a register.1
(a) Secretary of State v. Kasturi Reddi, 1908 ILR 26 Mad 268;
(b) Devarapalli Ramalinga Reddi v. Srigiriaju Kotayya, AIR 1918 Mad 451 (452).