The Supreme Court says that employees cannot apply for change of date of birth at will, as a matter of right. The observation was made when an employee of the Karnataka rural Infrastructure Development Corporation applied for a change of date of birth in his service records 24 years after being appointed.
As per the records of TP Nataraja, his date of birth was January 4, 1960, which he wanted changed to January 4, 1961. However, while the Karnataka High Court had directed the Corporation to reconsider Nataraja’s decision pertaining to change of date of birth, the Supreme Court said that it was possible to reject the application because of the delay. The employee had applied for change of date of birth towards the end of his service, when he was about to retire.
As per the Karnataka State Servants (Determination of Age) Act, 1974 (Act, 1974) and resolution dated May 17, 1991 by which the Corporation adopted Karnataka Civil Service Rules, the request for change of date of birth in service records can be made within three years from the date of joining or within one year from commencement of the Act,1974.
The application for change of date of birth can only be as per the relevant provisions or regulations applicable, and cannot be claimed as a right by the employee.
When the employee’s suit was dismissed in 2013, he had approached the High Court by way of Regular First Appeal saying that he was not aware of the rules and the said resolution.
However, the Corporation approached the Supreme Court which observed that being unaware of rules and laws cannot be accepted as an excuse and that employees are supposed to be aware of the rules and regulations applicable to the employees of the corporation.