1. The facts with regard to this appeal, instituted as a Pourvoision Cassation, by one Nadessin alias Gobalou front the judgment of the Court of the First Instance confirming the judgment of the Labour Court, are as follows. This petitioner Nadessia alias Gobalou, was an employee of the Bharathi Mills (respondent) and ho was duly retired from service upon reaching the age of 60, under the terms governing his employment. Later, he instituted a proceeding before the Labour Court praying that the removal from service be set aside, and that he should either be reinstated for a period of five years, or given arrears of salary etc., for that period, because the retirement was premature and he was aged only about 55 and not 60. There is a counter-affidavit by the Manager of the Bharathi Mills, pointing out that Nadessin alias Gobalou (petitioner) declared, in his claim for provident fund, that he was born in the year 1901, which would make him past 60, on the date of retirement. Nadessin (petitioner) actually received his provident fund and gratuity, in consequence of the order of retirement. lie subsequently produced the provident fund pass book, in which it is seen that the figure 1901 has been corrected into 1904, by a visible alteration of the last digit. According to the counter-affidavit, this is an act of forgery or tampering with the record.
2. As we stated earlier, the Labour Court dismissed the claim of the petitioner (appellant). He appealed, under the law, to the Court of first instance at Pondicherry. That Court dismissed his appeal, and confirmed the decision of the Labour Court. Before the Appellate Tribunal, for the first time, the appellant produced what purported to be a certificate of his identity as Nadessin alias Gobalou, to which was attached a document, which purported to be an extract from the birth register, showing his date of birth to be 22-10-1907. The Court of Appeal observed that this itself conflicts with the correction in the pass book, of the year 1901 into 1904. Further, the certificate was ex facie issued on 20-3-1962, to the appellant, before his petition to the Labour Court. Nevertheless, the certificate of identity and birth extract were admittedly not produced before the Labour Court. The Court of appeal also observed that the certificate of identity had been obtained from some other Mayor, not from the Mayor of Ariamcoupom, who should normally have granted it. For these reasons, the appellate Court was not prepared to act upon the document, and it confirmed the finding of the Labour Court that the appellant had been properly retired from the employment of Bharathi Mills (respondent), taking his year of birth to be 1901, as shown by the appellant himself in his application for gratuity and provident fund.
3. Learned counsel for the appellant (Sri Arunachalam) contends that, under the French Processual law, the certificate of identity and the accompanying extract from the birth register together constitute what is called an acte authentiquc, which will have to be accepted and acted upon, unless it is arraigned as a forgery, either upon a criminal charge to that effect, or by a special proceeding in the course of civil action known as inscription de faux. Article 1319 of the Code Civil is referred to, in support. We have carefully considered this matter, and, in our view, the argument itself proceeds upon a misconception. It will be noted that the certificate of identity does not prove any fact other than this, that the person to whom the certificate is granted is Nadessin alias Gobalou as known to the Mayor, who has 'granted the certificate. The extract from the birth register, which has been attached to the certificate, and which was produced only before the Court of Appeal for the first time, might or might not relate to the appellant. It could very well relate to a younger brother, since the appellant has earlier indicated his year of birth as 1901 and not 1904 and never as 1907.
When we scrutinise Article 1819 of the Code Civil we find that an acte authentique viz., a document or deed of that category, is conclusive evidence of the agreement comprised therein, as between the contracting parties and their heirs or representatives. It may conceivably even be proved against third parties, precisely like our public documents under the Indian Evidence Act. But it cannot constrain the Court, and the Court is not bound to act upon a document of that description, as applying to the individual, who produces it; the Court may very well require other evidence, before it is satisfied that the birth extract really relates to the particular individual who relies upon it. Learned counsel has relied upon a passage in the 'Outline of the French Law of Evidence' by Bodington, 1904 Edn. But we find in page 14 of this very work, an observation of the author to the effect that the only statements in an acte autheutique which have to be impugned by definitive proceedings, and must be accepted otherwise are 'statements by the notary himself, of things which happened in his presence, or of facts within his personal knowledge '
4. Under the circumstances, it is very clear that the French Processual Law does not contemplate that the Court must accept the document, merely because it has been produced before Court, as a public document applying to the individual in question. Obviously, further evidence would be required before that could be done In the present case, the appellate Court was not bound to accept the document at all, or even to look into it, for that document was available to the party even before he instituted his proceeding, and it was not produced in the Labour Court.
5. Under those circumstances, we are fully satisfied that the judgments of the Labour Court and the Court of first instance call for no interference on our part, either upon any ground of law, or on the merits of the matter. The Special (Labour) Appeal is dismissed. The parties will bear their own costs here.