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Narendra Kumar v. State Of U.P. Thru' The Secretary Ministry Of Education - WRIT - C No. 13813 of 2006  RD-AH 13510 (17 August 2006)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 13813 of 2006
State of U.P. and others..........................................Respondents.
Hon. S.N.Srivastava, J.
By means of this petition, the petitioner has prayed for a relief of writ of mandamus directing Opp. Party no.2 to issue fresh corrected mark-sheet and certificate of High Court as against Roll no. 2443653 forthwith.
The facts set out in writ petition are that the petitioner's date of birth as mentioned in the School Leaving Certificate is 10.8.1986. He initially appeared in High School examination in 2001 from Ganga Singh Inter College Charkhari District Mahoba as a regular student but could not romp home in the said examination. Thereafter, he dropped out of said college and tried his luck as private student by appearing in High School examination in the year 2003 from J.N.K. H.S.S.Nara College Sirathu District Kaushambhi. It is claimed that the petitioner appeared as private student from the said college on the basis of School leaving Certificate issued from Ganga Singh Inter College aforesaid in which date of birth indicated was 10.8.1986. Subsequently, it would further be revealed from the record, the petitioner passed his Intermediate examination in the year 2005 as a regular student from the same college i.e. J.N.K. HSS Nara Sirathu Kaushambi and while appearing as regular student, the school record as also the examination form filled for appearing in Intermediate Examination showed his date of birth as 10.8.1986. It is further claimed in the writ petition that he noticed the mistake in the date of birth at the time of seeking admission for Graduation classes in the year 2005 and he immediately made a written complaint to the Secretary Board of High School and Intermediate. Subsequently, the petitioner also made an application attended with a Notary Affidavit to the Board for correction of his date of birth. Despite assiduous efforts, it would further appear, the repeated representations/application evoked no response and it is in this backdrop that the petitioner was constrained to institute the present petition.
On 7.3.2006, this Court granted time to file counter affidavit and rejoinder affidavit attended with further direction to produce relevant record on the date fixed.
In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the Board of High School and Intermediate, the stand taken is that the period prescribed for correction of date of birth as contained in Chapter III Regulation 7 of the Calendar of the Board is two years and the representation having been made by the petitioner after a lapse of two years, was not liable to be considered.
I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the materials on record.
From a perusal of the record, it would transpire that after noticing the mistake in the year 2005, the petitioner represented the matter to the Board alongwith Notary affidavit after a lapse of two years and eight months. It has not been repudiated that the petitioner had passed High School Examination in the year 2003 and Intermediate Examination in the year 2005. It is also obvious from the record that the mistake was noticed by the petitioner at the time of seeking admission in Graduate classes in the year 2005. There ios no denying of the fact that the Board passed no orders on the representation of the petitioner unto this date either accepting it or rejecting it. The Court has also been taken through the School Leaving Certificate, which clearly vouchsafes the date of birth as 10.8.1986. The petitioner has also annexed various documents which leave no manner of doubt that the date of birth of the petitioner as recorded from the very inception in the school certificate is 10.8.1986. It is also borne out from the record that in the subsequent intermediate examination form he showed his date of birth as10.8.1986 and in the circumstances, there is no mistaking of the fact that the correct date of birth of the petitioner was 10.8.1986 and not 10.8.1984 as mentioned in the Certificate of the High School which in my considered opinion, has been indicated due to inadvertent error.
In order to prop up his case, the learned counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on a case in Sandeep Kumar V. Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad U.P. Allahabad and others (2004) 1 UPLBEC 1014. The quintessence of what has been held in this decision is that the Regulation 7 contained in Chapter III of the Calendar of the Board is only directory and not mandatory and in appropriate cases, the competent authority of the Parishad can order for correction of date of birth even if limitation period of two years has expired as the mistakes in the High School Certificate are purely clerical and typographical. In the said decision, this Court relied upon a Division Bench decision of this Court in Miss Sandhya and others v. The State of U.P. 1982 UPLBEC 646 in which also this Court ruled that Regulation 10 (4) of the regulations framed under the Act was merely directory as they were only procedural. Per contra, instead of conceding the ruling/proposition of the aforesaid decision, the learned counsel tried to fortify his failing submission by citing decision in Rajendra Prasad Singh v. State of U.P. 1994 (24) A.L.R. In this decision, this Court held that the Board has no jurisdiction to enquire into as to what is the correct date of birth even if incorrect date of birth is given in examination form by examinee.
I have studiously traversed over both the decisions and regard being had to the fact on record, I am of the firm view that the decision cited across the bar by learned counsel for the petitioner shall apply on all fours to the facts of the present case. On the other hand, the decision cited by learned standing counsel has no application to the facts of the present case inasmuch as this decision has been rendered in different set of facts, which has no material similarity to the facts of the present case. The applicant in that case after joining of service moved application for correction of his date of birth.
Coming to the facts of the present case, it bears no repudiation that in the earlier examination of High School held in the year 2001, the petitioner had indicated his date of birth as 10.8.1986 and the same date of birth is also recorded in the School Leaving Certificate. Besides, in the Intermediate examination form, the petitioner again indicated his date of birth as 10.8.1986 and therefore, it leaves no manner of doubt that the mistake if any as has occurred in the Certificate of the High School is on the part of the Board. The argument in vindication of the stand that the petitioner represented the matter for correction of date of birth after an efflux of two years and eight months, unmindful of the fact that it was purely a mistake occurring at the end of the Board of High School and Intermediate, has no substance and does not commend to me for acceptance. In view of the law laid down, the provision relied upon by the learned is directory and in appropriate cases where petitioner has not derived advantage of his date of birth in service or elsewhere, the delay if any, may be condoned and the case may be considered on merits.
It has quite often been noticed that the authorities of the Board sit tight over the cases or overlook such delays occurring on account of apathy of subordinate staff and do not pass any orders. Such uncaring attitude be it on part of any one of the authorities or officials is not appreciable inasmuch such long delay in disposal of matters often results in mushrooming of litigation in the Court which is already burdened with cases beyond their apparent capacity and such litigation. In my considered view, the proliferation of such cases can be stemmed at the stage of the Board itself if authorities are galvanized into action by paying due attention and are made to act with promptitude in dealing with such cases within a time bound frame work.
It is noticeable from the record that there are already ex-cathedra decisions on the point leaving no manner of doubt for any confusion that Regulation 7 contained in Chapter III of the Calendar of the Board which is often invoked aid of by the Board is only directory and in appropriate cases, the Board can pass orders giving timely relief to the harried students without showing undue and excessive servility to the said regulations and regard being had to the decisions aforesaid.
This Court also does not view with equanimity the inordinate delay in disposal of such matters at the end of the Board the urgency of which in fact merits early disposal considering the future and resultant loss to the students and also regard being had to the fact that it leaves no option for these harried lots except to seek redressal of their grievances in invoking the extra-ordinary jurisdiction of the Court in sheer desperation.
In the above conspectus, the Court feels compelled to ventilate the view that there is pressing need to refurbish the system in the educational sphere. The Court expects the Board that it would prescribe such time limit as may be reasonable if not already prescribed by it for disposal of all representations this way or that way and at the same time, for failure to do so, the authorities/officials concerned as the case may be may be visited with appropriate action so as to serve as deterrence against repetition of such mistake in future.
In the result, the petition succeeds and is allowed. In consequence, it is ordered that the Board of High School and Intermediate shall pass appropriate orders for correction of date of birth in the certificate of High School within one month from the date of presentation of a certified copy of this order. The corrected certificate may be transmitted to the petitioner within one week thereafter.
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