The Punjab and Haryana high court has made it mandatory for all government, public and private schools to admit children on the basis of a birth certificate issued by the registrar of births and deaths.
The high court division bench of justice Hemant Gupta and justice Lisa Gill said an individual could not seek to correct his/her date of birth "after three years of attaining majority". The decision would be applicable to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
The high court bench, in its order, said it hoped schools within the jurisdiction of this court insisted upon the birth certificate issued by the registrar of births and deaths at the time of admission to schools. "If it is not being followed, all schools, government, public and/or private, will not grant admission to a child unless he produces his birth certificate from the registrar, births and deaths," the high court bench said, adding that this would lead to the matriculation certificate in sync with the date of birth from the records.
The high court observed that the certificate issued by the registrar carried a statutory presumption of correctness. "But if, in the face of such a certificate, another date of birth is given while seeking admission to a school, the principles of estoppel will be applicable," the bench said. Estoppel precludes a person from asserting something contrary to a statement given earlier.
The court order came on an appeal of one Ambika Kaul, who had sought correction in the date of birth in the Central Board of Secondary Education certificate as it was at variance with the one in the registrar's record. The division bench upheld the single bench order, wherein, her plea for correction was turned down. She was more than 21 at the time of the petition.