1. The petitioner is a Development Officer in the Life Insurance Corporation of India ('the Corporation'). Before the Corporation was formed, he was employed in the Hindustan Co-operative Insurance Company Ltd., While joining service, he had given his date of birth as '6-2-1916'. The service records maintained by his employer were forwarded to the Corporation when his services were taken over by the latter. Now, it has been notified that he shall retire on attaining the age of superannuation at 60 years. That date is not far off. It falls on 6-2-1976. The petitioner challenges the said Notification by contending that the Corporation has failed to record his correct date of birth as 15-6-1917.
2. The dispute arose in this way:
By letter dated 14-9-1968, 17-9-1968, the Corporation asked the petitioner to submit the school or college certificate in proof of his age and educational qualification. A reminder was issued on 16-10-1968 to the same effect. Thereafter, the petitioner produced the school certificate in which his date of birth was entered as 15-6-1917. The Corporation did not accept that certificate. It wanted to know the basis upon which the said entry was made in the school register. On 6-1-1971, it asked the petitioner to submit a birth certificate from the Registration Authorities at the place of birth. The petitioner, by his reply dated 11-1-1971, pleaded his inability to produce such certificate oil the ground that he was born in a small village about 55 years ago and, at that place, there was no system of recording the births and deaths by statutory Authorities. On 12-31971, the Corporation informed the petitioner that it was unable to accept the changed date of birth submitted by him. The petitioner, however, pressed his claim repeatedly. On 26-6-1971, 29-6-1971, the Corporation again reiterated that the Central Office of the Corporation was unable to reconsider the matter on the basis of the school certificate without the basis upon which the said entry was made. Further correspondence on the matter yielded no positive result.
3. The petitioner, thereupon, took a very ingenious course. He approached the Magistrate, under Section 13(3) of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969, ('the Act'), requesting the Magistrate to issue a direction to the Registrar of Births and Deaths, Bangalore, to register the date of his birth as '15-6-1917'. On that application, the Magistrate made a summary enquiry. He considered the certificate issued by the Head Master of the School in which the petitioner studied and also the affidavit of the petitioner and his father's sister's son and observed that that evidence was quite natural and probable to hold that the petitioner was born on 15-6-1917. Accordingly, be directed the Registrar to register the said date as the date of birth of the petitioner in the relevant register. In obedience to the said direction, the Registrar entered the said date in the register maintained for the purpose. The petitioner on receiving a copy of the said entry, produced the, same before the Corporation, produce with a request to accept it. The Corporation, however, refused to admit the said date, by stating thus:
'The matter was considered by our Central Office and it has not been found necessary to revise our decision already taken to admit your date of birth as 6-2-1916.
You will therefore please note that, you will retire from the service of the Corporation on 6-2-76, as per our notice dated 17-5-1975 issued to you.'
4. The petitioner has, now, moved this Court under Article 226, praying for the following two reliefs:
(i) A writ in the nature of certiorari or any other appropriate writ or order quashing the decision of the Corporation: and
(ii) A writ in the nature of mandamus or any other appropriate writ or order directing the Corporation not to retire him from service on the ground of superannuation until 15-6-1977.
He has also prayed for a direction against the Corporation to enter his date of birth as 15-6-1917 in his service records.
5. The respondents, in response to the notice issued, have filed a detailed statement of objections, resisting the claim of the petitioner. I heard both Counsel on the merits of the matter. After giving an anxious consideration to the questions urged, I have reached the conclusion that the petitioner cannot claim any one of the above reliefs. As I said in the beginning, the date of birth of the petitioner was entered in the Service Register with the knowledge and consent of the petitioner by his previous employer and that Service Register was transmitted to the Corporation when the petitioner's services were taken over by the latter. Thereafter, the same date has been admitted in his Insurance policies taken by the petitioner. The Corporation wants to rely upon that entry (i. e. 6-2-1916) since it has also got the support of the horoscope produced by the petitioner on two occasions; whereas another dated (i. e. 15-6-1917) has no support except the school certificate and the birth extract produced by the petitioner. The Corporation did not want to change the entry in the Service Register, perhaps on the ground that the subsequent date given by the petitioner was not reliable. The Corporation was competent to take that decision having regard to the circumstances of the case. This Court cannot issue a mandamus to change its decision so as to suit to the petitioner. That is not the purpose for which a mandamus could issue.
6. Equally so, I do not see any reason how the petitioner could ask for a writ of certiorari to quash the decision taken by the Corporation to retire him from service, on attaining the age of superannuation, on the basis of the date of birth entered in his Service Register. The contention urged for the petitioner that the birth extract produced by him was binding on the Corporation since it was based on the order made by the Magistrate, cannot be accepted. It is an accepted principle that an entry in the Register of Births is not conclusive evidence of the disputed date of birth. So also, an entry made pursuant to the direction of the Magistrate, under Section 13(3) of the Act.
Section 13(3) of the Act provides:
'Any birth or death which has not been registered within one year of its occurrence, shall be registered only on an order made by a Magistrate of the first class or a Presidency Magistrate after verifying the correctness of the birth or death and on payment of the prescribed fee.'
The policy of the law embodied in the Section, as it appears to me, is to avoid manipulation in the entries relating to the date of births and deaths. Such entry shall be made immediately after the occurrence. Precaution should be taken while making delayed entries. The law says that an entry which has not been made within one year of its occurrence cannot be made without an order of the Magistrate. Section 13(3) of the Act is just a constraint on the Registrar. It is not a provision whereby an aggrieved party could get an adjudication on his disputed date of birth. The order of the Magistrate binds only the Registrar and not others. The entry made by the Registrar, pursuant to an order of the Magistrate, cannot carry higher probative value and its proof must necessarily depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
7. In the result, the petition is dismissed. This order, however, shall not come in the way of the petitioner, if he wants to establish his right in any other procedure known to law.
8. Petition dismissed.