HC permits change in date of birth after pupil leaves school
Shibu Thomas TNN
Mumbai: Changes can be made to the date of birth in a school leaving certificate even after a student has left the institution to correct an error in records, the Bombay high court has ruled.
Adivision bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and R Y Ganoo came to the aid of two former students who wanted to get their date of birth corrected. Relying on high court judgments, the bench said the secondary schools code was “directory” and not “mandatory”.
“In the light of the fact that regulations or rules in question have been held by the court to be directory and the change can be made as sought, this writ petition succeeds,” the judges said. The court did not agree that changes in the school record could be made only till the time the student is studying in that
school and not after the school leaving certificate is issued.
The court allowed changes in accordance with law to be made in four weeks. It was hearing two petitions filed by Vinayak Gaikwad and Prabhakar Kamble, who had sought changes in their school leaving certificates, especially their date of birth. The schools rejected their requests as Gaikwad and Kamble were no longer studying in the schools.
The institutions relied on rules in the code enacted in 1979, which says that “any such change cannot be effected after students leave the school. In other words, as long as the student is pursing studies, the correction can be made in school records, but after he leaves it and a school leaving certificate is issued, entries in the school leaving certificate, which is issued by the same school, cannot be changed or varied”.
The only exception the rule allows is when there is a wrong spelling or an obvious mistake.
The HC referred to a 2012 judgment which said the code was an executive order and not a law passed by legislature. The court had been approached for change in caste names.
Times of India, Mumbai 27/11/2013
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