The Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it mandatory for all government, public and private schools to admit only children with proper birth certificates.
It has also ruled that an individual cannot seek to correct his/her date of birth "after expiry of three years of attaining majority". The decision would be applicable in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
A division bench of justice Hemant Gupta and justice Lisa Gill said: "We do hope that the schools within the jurisdiction of this court insist upon birth certificate issued from the registrar of births and deaths at the time of admission to the schools so that such date of birth (DOB) is correctly reflected in the matriculation certificate."
"If it's not being followed, all schools, government, public and/or private, shall not grant admission to the child unless he produces his birth certificate from the registrar of births and deaths. Thus, the date of birth in the school record leading to matriculation certificate would be in sync with the date of birth from the records of the registrar of births and deaths," the bench observed.
The high court clarified that the certificate issued by the registrar of births and deaths carried a statutory presumption of correctness.
"But if, in the face of such certificate, another date of birth is given while seeking admission in a school, the principles of estoppel will be applicable," it said.
One of the petitioners, Ambika Kaul, had sought correction of date of birth in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) certificate on the basis of an entry made in a register maintained by the registrar of births and deaths.
The court said that the date of birth written in the CBSE certificate was at variance with the one in the registrar's record.
Earlier, the petitioners' plea for correction was turned by a single bench by observing that there was no scope of changing the DOB once it was put in the school records.