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The date of birth mentioned in the school education board certificate cannot be changed to the convenience of a student if the board merely reproduces the same birth details as the student had submitted at the time of admission to the school that is carried during the entire schooling period.
The ruling has come from the Punjab and Haryana high court while dismissing a petition seeking change of date of birth in the certificate issued by the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) and that too seven years after passing out from the school.
Justice K Kannan reasoned that there could be instances where a parent secures admission for a child by making some manipulations regarding the date of birth and it could be in a situation where a child seeking admission is over-aged or under-aged to gain admission.
"The plea of estoppel, which operates against a child is on the basis of a statement of a guardian and if an entry is made to gain advantage relating to the age of stipulation for an admission, it cannot be later changed to the benefit of the candidate after the schooling is over to a date, which is convenient to the candidate," said justice Kannan. Estoppel is a legal principle that bars a party from denying or alleging a certain fact owing to that party's previous conduct, allegation or denial.
A Rewari (Haryana) resident, Ambika Kaul, had approached the high court seeking change of her date of birth in the CBSE certificate by reducing it an year from July 4, 1991, to July 4, 1992.
But justice Kannan expressed, "If the date of birth was of the year 1991, a change cannot be brought in the school records if the petitioner sought admission in the school giving a date of birth deliberately from what according to her was true."
The court made it clear that the CBSE cannot issue a certificate that is different from what is contained in the school records and what was brought in the CBSE certificate was not any typographical error. The two circumstances under which the CBSE allows corrections are indeed in respect of the typographical errors in making the certificate consistent with the school record, the CBSE had informed the court.
Justice Kannan expressed his surprise after observing that the petitioner-student had received her CBSE certificate in May 2007 and was approaching the court after a period of seven years in 2014. Though the court dismissed the case but said otherwise also the correction in the certificate must have been applied for within three years from the date of knowledge of the alleged wrong entry in 2007 or within three years from attaining age of majority in 2012.