Punjab & Haryana High Court Orders Correction In Woman's Date Of Birth By Relying Upon Her Educational Certificate

Update: 2021-12-02 14:25 GMT

In a first, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently ordered the Haryana government to carry out a correction in the birth certificate of a woman (petitioner before the court) on the basis of her educational certificates issued by CBSE. This direction by the Bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh came on the plea of one Jyoti Bajaj who had sought directions for the respondents to correct...

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In a first, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently ordered the Haryana government to carry out a correction in the birth certificate of a woman (petitioner before the court) on the basis of her educational certificates issued by CBSE. 

This direction by the Bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh came on the plea of one Jyoti Bajaj who had sought directions for the respondents to correct her date of birth in her birth certificate from December 19, 1982, to December 17, 1982, being a clerical mistake.

The case in brief

In all her educational certificates, service book, Aadhaar Card, Pan Card, NPS Card, and Haryana Family Identification Letter, her date of birth has been recorded as December 17, 1982, which she asserted to be her correct date of birth.

Since her husband is living in the USA, so when she applied for a green card, the USA Embassy has asked for the birth certificate. Petitioner applied for issuance of birth certificate and on seeing the birth certificate, it was found that date of birth of the petitioner was wrongly recorded as December 19, 1982, instead of December 17, 1982.

On this ground, the USA Embassy declined to issue a green card to the petitioner owing to the aforesaid discrepancy in her date of birth. Therefore, she moved to the High Court seeking necessary directions to the authorities to change her DOB.

It was submitted before the Court that the entry in her birth certificate register was made on December 21, 1982, was i.e. after two days of the alleged birth on December 19, 1982.

Even the Court observed that the entry appeared to be doubtful in view of the non-appearance of initials of the Sub Registrar in the column.

Further, she urged the court that her date of birth be corrected based on the details in her school leaving certificate and other educational documents, and contended that the certificate issued by CBSE to her be relied upon to make corrections in her DOB.

It was also argued that such documents serve a social purpose today and are often used to cross verify particulars like name and date of birth while applying for other Government identity documents.

Court's observations 

Observing that even though, CBSE certificate is not strictly meant to be considered as an identity document, but the same is being relied upon for corroborative purposes in all academic and career-related transactions as a foundational document, the court observed thus:

"In fact, CBSE has itself propounded that the certificate of CBSE is relied for all official purposes and the date of birth in matriculation certificate, in particular, is a primary evidence of date of birth of a citizen."

The Court also referred to the case law relied upon by the petitioner [Jigya Yadav (Minor) (through guardian/father Hari Singh) Vs. CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and others, 2021(4) ALT 51], wherein it was held that the date of birth in matriculation certificate is primary evidence of the date of birth of a citizen. 

Thereafter, allowing the plea, the State of Haryana was directed to carry out a necessary correction in the birth certificate of the petitioner and thereafter, do the needful in the context of supplying the same to the petitioner in accordance with law.

However, the Court added that since the instant case is a unique case of its own type and is not covered by the precedents on the subject matter, therefore, the Court obserd thus:

"...it cannot be cited as a precedent in other cases unless and until facts squarely fit in the frame of things."

Case title - Jyoti Bajaj v. State of Haryana and others

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