The Chhattisgarh High Court observed that mere inadvertent errors in surnames in certificates issued by competent authority do not indicate a case of impersonation or furnishing of false information.

The Court held thus after the Age Determination Committee refused to consider the certificates produced by the Petitioner, Arjun Lal with different surnames.

The bench of Justice Goutam Bhaduri observed, “Mere inadvertent mentioning or non-mentioning of surname in certificate issued by the competent authority would not mean and indicate that it is a case of impersonation or furnishing of false information.”

Advocate Chandresh Shrivastava appeared for the Appellant and Advocate Pankaj Agrawal appeared for the Respondent.

Brief Facts-

The Petitioner was taken into service in South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. in the year 1984 and had requested for correction of his date of birth on the ground that inadvertently the same was recorded wrong. However, it did not yield any result and eventually in the year 2013 the petitioner approached the High Court by filing a Writ Petition, which was disposed of with a direction to examine the case of the petitioner in terms of II No. of 76.

The Petitioner then approached the Age Determination Committee which passed the impugned order and corrigendum. Hence, this petition.

The Court referred to clauses (B) and (C) of II No.76 as per which, review of the determination of the date of birth in respect of an existing employee shall be considered based on matriculation certificate or higher secondary certificate issued by the recognised Universities or Board provided it is issued before the date of employment.

The Court noted that the petitioner filed the Higher Secondary School Certificate Examination, 1978 before the ADC which was issued before the petitioner’s appointment in SECL in the year 1984.

However, the Court noted that the said certificate was sidelined by the ADC only on the ground that it showed the name of the Petitioner as ‘Arjun Lal Kurre’ whereas the official record shows only ‘Arjun Lal’. Further, the Court noted that ADC stated that one name is shown as ‘Arjun Lal Suryavanshi’ and another as ‘Arjun Lal Kurre’.

The Court observed that ADC was under an obligation to inquire into the mismatch of names and cursorily they could not avoid it as it creates a right in favour of the employee.

The Court stated that the purpose of document verification is to ensure that there is no impersonation, misleading or incorrect documents furnished to seek enlistment. Therefore, the alleged mismatch in the surname of the petitioner cannot be, by any stretch of the imagination, labelled as a discrepancy or furnishing of any false information.

Moreover, as per the Court, the alleged mismatch is not such an error that could have led to the rejection of the candidature of the petitioner, particularly, because there is nothing that may even remotely indicate that the documents are forged or procured.

The Court further relied on the decision in Bharat Coking Coal Limited and Others v Chhota Birsa Uran where, as per the Court Supreme Court observed, “…by a change of date of birth, a wronged employee should not be denied of his rights especially when he has adhered to the procedure laid down and attempted to avoid litigation by resorting to in-house mechanisms.”

Accordingly, the Court set aside the impugned order and corrigendum.

Finally, the petition was allowed.

Cause Title: Arjun Lal v. South Eastern Coalfields Ltd.


Appellant: Adv. Chandresh Shrivastava

Respondent: Adv. Pankaj Agrawal

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