Correction of date of Birth in Passport
All persons who depart or intend to depart from India are required to be in possession of a valid passport or travel document. The word ‘person’ includes Indian citizens. The necessity of a travel document or a passport has arisen from International Convention and usage among nations. The term ‘passport’ or ‘travel document’ includes Indian documents issued under Passports Act, 1967 and Rules made thereunder. The word ‘departure’ with grammatical variations and cognate expressions, means departure from India by water, land or air.Passport Authorities are required to render various types of services on a passport already issued, when applied for by the passport holder. In case of any change in the particulars in laminated photo page of the Passport, a fresh booklet is required to be issued.
Power of Passport Authority for Correction of date of Birth in Passport –
The Passport Issuing Authorities are not effecting changes in date of birth. They are only correcting the mistakes occurred in the Passport. No one can change date of birth of a person. Therefore, any vast disparity in correcting the actual date of birth comparing to the original, does not make any difference for the purpose of correcting date of birth in the Passport. For eg. If a person’s Passport bears the date of birth as 1.1.1986, instead of 1.1.1996, the Passport Issuing Authorities will refuse to exercise the power. However if the difference is only to the effect of 1.1.1987 as against the year 1.1.1986, the Passport Issuing Authorities will effect changes. There is no rationale in restricting exercise of power for correcting date of birth beyond two years in difference. If correction are liable to be effected on genuine reasons, necessarily, it apply in all circumstances, irrespective of the fact that difference is beyond two years or less. The fixation of the outer limit of two years is fixed as though application is seeking to effect change in date of birth. The Passport Issuing Authorities have to bear in mind that they are correcting the date of birth and not changing the date of birth. Thus, the classification for exercising of the power for effecting correction of the date of birth has no nexus with the object sought to be achieved. If the objective of classification is illogical and lacks rationality, necessarily, the classifications will have to be held unreasonable. Thus, restricting the power of the authorities of passport, in correcting the date of birth as imposed in the circular is unsustainable and liable to be struck down. Therefore, the prescription of two different sets of procedures for correcting the date of birth in the Passport for same class of persons has no basis.
Conflicts between two documents for date of birth –
A birth certificate is issued by a Registrar of Births and Deaths and reflects an entry extracted from the register maintained by the Registrar under the Registrarion of Births and Deaths Act, 1969. The aforementioned statute was enacted to provide for and regulate registration of Births and Deaths and for matters connected therewith. Section 7 thereof, requires a State government to appoint a Registrar for each area comprising the area within the jurisdiction of a municipality/panchayat or the local authority or any other area or a combination of any two or more of them. Section 16 of the Act requires every Registrar to keep in the prescribed form a register of Births and Deaths for the registration of births and deaths in his area or any part thereof in relation to which, he exercises jurisdiction. A register of Births and Deaths is, thus, a public record of births and deaths that occur within the area assigned to a Registrar. The Register being a public record, presumption of truth attaches thereto and consequently to the birth certificate,reflecting an extract from the Births and Deaths register. A matriculation certificate, on the other hand, is primary evidence of the marks obtained by a candidate in a qualifying examination and the date of birth recorded as an ancillary measure. Primacy would, therefore, have to be accorded to the date of birth reflected in the birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths.
It is held that where there is a conflict, between the date of birth, recorded by the competent authority under the Births and Deaths Registration Act and the school leaving certificate, primacy was to be accorded to the birth certificate issued by the authority under the Registration of Births and Deaths.