SHANKAR LAL VS HINDUSTAN COPPER LTD. & ORS.

SHANKAR LAL VS HINDUSTAN COPPER LTD. & ORS.

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले


REPORTABLE
 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
  CIVIL APPEAL NO.2858 OF 2022
  (Arising out of Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No. 16886
of   2019)
SHANKAR LAL                .…...APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
HINDUSTAN COPPER LTD. & ORS.     ……RESPONDENT(S)
     J U D G M E N T
ANIRUDDHA BOSE, J.
The appellant is before us primarily questioning the
validity   of   an   order   of   the   employer   (Hindustan   Copper
Limited ­ the first respondent in this appeal) treating his date
of birth as 21st September 1945. This date has relevance for
computation   of   his   benefits   accruing   from   a   Voluntary
Retirement Scheme (“VRS”), for which he applied and was
granted. The appellant’s stand is that his date of birth is 21st
September   1949.   The   appellant   had   invoked   the   writ
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jurisdiction of the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at
Jaipur (“the   High  Court”),  but  was  unsuccessful  before  a
Single Judge and the Division Bench in sustaining his case.
If the latter date, i.e. 21st September, 1949 was accepted by
the employer to be his date of birth, his financial benefits
from the said scheme would have been higher, as he would
have   had   longer   service   tenure   left.     It   appears   that   the
tenure of service left was the basis on which the VRS benefit
was to be computed. We would like to point out here that in
the pleadings and copies of various other documents forming
part of the paperbook, there are overlapping dates claimed by
the appellant to be his actual date of birth. These are 20th
September 1949 and 21st  September 1949. This variation,
however, is insignificant so far as adjudication of this appeal
is concerned.  In this judgment, we shall ignore this variation
and proceed on the basis that 21st  September 1949 is the
date claimed by the appellant to be his birthdate. 
2. The VRS was operational in the appellant’s case with
effect from 3rd October 2002. Admitted position is that 21st
September 1949 was recorded as his date of birth in his
service book. This was opened in 1975.  He had joined the
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organisation in the year 1971 and the Form “B” reflects his
date of birth as 21st September 1945.  The appellant claims
that at the time of his voluntary retirement, he came to learn
for the first time that his date of birth was being changed to
21st September 1945. He invoked the writ jurisdiction of the
High   Court   in   the   year   2008   as   his   representations   for
adhering to 21st  September 1949 as his birthdate failed to
evoke positive response from the employer. That writ petition
(S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.5690/08) was disposed of by a
Single Judge with a direction to the appellant to make a fresh
representation in light of the recommendations made by a
committee of the employer themselves in his favour on the
subject controversy. The competent authority was directed, in
the same judgment delivered on 15th July 2008, to consider
and decide on the same in accordance with law. 
3. The   appellant’s   representation   was   rejected   by   the
competent authority­employer by an order passed on 13th
October   2008   (“the   rejection   order”).  The   appellant’s   plea
against   the   rejection   order   (S.B.   Civil   Writ   Petition   No.
13195/2008) was dismissed by a learned Single Judge of the
High Court by an Order dated 24th November 2008 and his
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appeal (D.B.Special Appeal Writ No.1501/2011) assailing the
order of dismissal before a Division Bench of the same High
Court also failed.  The judgment of the Division Bench was
delivered on 8th December 2016. It is this judgment which is
under   appeal   before   us.     The   appellant   stakes   his   claim
primarily on his service book maintained by the employer,
where his date of birth is shown as 21st September 1949.  Mr.
Kaushal Yadav, learned counsel for the appellant has also
relied   on   a   Life   Insurance   Corporation   (“L.I.C.”)   Policy   in
which the same date of birth has been shown.  This policy,
however, was subscribed to by the appellant in the month of
May, 1980. The appellant’s counsel has brought to our notice
sample copies of his pay slips for the months of August 1994
and August 2001. Both these pay slips carry the message,
“Happy Birthday ***20.09.1949***”.   The appellant has also
relied upon certain clauses of the Standing Orders of the
employer   in   support   of   his   claim.   We   shall   refer   to   the
relevant clauses thereof later in this judgment. 
4. The appellant had joined the said organisation as a
miner   on   completion   of   his   one­month   training   in   the
temporary job.  Communication to that effect was issued on
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th  September 1971.   We have already referred to different
documents emanating from or maintained by the employer
themselves   where   his   date   of   birth   was   shown   to   be
21st  September   1949.   In   the   computation   sheet   of   his
estimated   “VR   benefit”   also   the   same   date   of   birth   was
reflected. By that time, the post the appellant was holding
was that of “drifter operator” (a copy of the estimate sheet
forms part of the paperbook, at page 38). The appellant was
relieved from his service on 3rd October 2002.  The appellant’s
case is that he came to know that his date of birth was being
altered only after he was relieved from service.   From the
materials available on record, we find reference to his date of
birth as 21st  September 1945 for the first time in a form
issued by the employer on 22nd March 2003. The top portion
of this form (a copy of which appears at page 47 of the
paperbook) carries an endorsement made by the Assistant
Manager of the first respondent: ­ “Date of birth: 21.09.1945
as per ‘B’  Form”. Immediately below this sentence there is
recordal that “D.O.B: 21.09.1949 as per H.O. Application.”
Rest   of   the   said   form   contains   other   particulars   of   the
appellant, which also includes his date of birth, filled in as
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20th September 1949. The appellant, however, had knowledge
of  his   date  of   birth   being  taken   by   the  employer  as   21st
September 1945 earlier, but according to him, he had noticed
this   only   after   being   relieved   from   service.   In   his   service
certificate issued on 29th October 2002, 21st September 1945
was shown as his birthdate.
5. Stand of the respondents, represented by Ms. Nandini
Sen Mukherjee, learned counsel, is that at the entry point, he
had given his age to be 26 years, and that was the age
reflected in the Form “B”.  That is a statutory form required
to be maintained under The Mines Act, 1952. It has also been
submitted  by her that  at that  point  of time, the  medical
practitioner during a health check­up had also assessed his
age to be about 25 years, which would take his year of birth
closer   to   1945.   In   the   year   1975,   his   service   book   was
prepared.  In such records, the appellant’s age was entered
as 26 years by mistake, repeating his age as it was at the
time he joined the organisation. That is how the inconsistent
recordal of the appellant’s birthdate is sought to be explained
by the employer.  She has also emphasised that the appellant
had raised the complaint after receiving all the VRS benefits
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computed on the basis of his age as reflected in the Form “B”.
6. It appears that there had been disputes over age in
respect of other employees also in the same organisation, and
a   three­member   committee   was   constituted   by   an   Order
passed   on   7th  September   2004   by   the   General   Manager,
Khetri   Copper   Complex   of   the   first   respondent.     The
committee  considered the  case of  the appellant  also,  and
their report went in his favour.   Relevant extract from this
report   has   been   annexed   at   page   54   of   the   paperbook
(Annexure   P13).     In   Clauses   3,   4   and   5   of   this   report,
background has been given in relation to recordal of date of
birth of an employee. We quote below the said three clauses
from that report:­
“3. As per the company’s certified standing orders,
the basis for determining the date of birth of an
employee will be:­
a)  Birth Certificate
b)  School Leaving Certificate
c)  Insurance Policy
d)  Horoscope
e) Medical Report
In   the   standing   orders   followed   in   KCC,   it   is   no
where written that the ‘B’ Form will be basis for the
determining the age. 
4. In one of the court case (Durga Ram Vs. HCL
Case No.2427/1990) for age anomaly, the Hon’ble
High Court, Rajasthan has declined to accept the ‘B’
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Form   Register   as   the   basis   for   age/date   of   birth
determination   where   the   Hon’ble   High   Court   had
quoted “when ‘B’ Form entries have not been made
by the petitioner in his own hand­writing and the
entries have been made in ‘B’ Form in a language
which   the   petitioner   could   not   have   understood,
entries made in ‘B’ Form could not have been made
basis for effecting the retirement of the petitioner. 
5. During construction period of KCC there was no
proper   system   of   recording   the   particulars   of   an
employee   like   date  of   birth,   age  etc.   Most   of   the
workmen were engaged as “daily rated monthly paid
basis” and there was no proper system of recording
the exact date of joining, date of birth etc. During
this period employees so engaged were never asked
for documents etc. in support of their age. Only after
the Gopal Das Narayan Award in 1971, all these
“daily rated monthly paid” workmen were regularized
and their date of initial joining in the company were
taken into account, service book was introduced and
particulars of these employees were maintained.”
(quoted verbatim from the paperbook) 
7. In relation to the appellant, the recommendation of the
committee was to the following effect: ­
“6. Shri   Shankar   Lal   Saini,   Code   No.36145,   Exemployee.
Shri Shankar Lal joined the company on 21.9.1971.
His age was recorded as 26 years in the ‘B’ Form
Register   at   the   time   of   his   initial   joining.
Accordingly, his date of birth comes to 21.9.1945.
However, his date of birth was not recorded in his
service book. His service book was filled up in the
year 1975 where his date of birth was recorded as
21.9.1949  counting 26  years  from  the  year 1975
(year of filling up the service book).
In the medical report dated 22.9.1971 also his age
was assessed as 25 years, which comes nearer to
1945 and not of 1949. The date of birth recorded in
the service book was not disputed for a long time.
However, in the year 2002, when the anomaly was
noticed the case was processed for rectification but
in the meantime, Shri Shankar Lal has submitted
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V.R.   and   subsequently   released   from   the
committee’s service on 3.10.2002. His V.R. payment
was   released   considering   his   date   of   birth   as
21.9.1949   and   not   as   21.9.1949 (which   was
recorded   in   his   service   book)   as   the   Finance
Department did not agree to accept the date of birth
as 21.9.1949. After receiving the payment the exemployee   made   several   request   to   release   the
balance amount of V.R. benefit considering his date
of birth is 21.09.1949. The committee observed that
the ex­employee joined this complex on 21.9.1971.
Since he was only literate, a ‘B’ register was filled up
at that time where his age was recorded as 26 years.
In the year 1975 a service book was filled up where
date of birth was recorded as 21.9.1949, counting
26 years from the year 1975. There was a medical
report dated 22.9.1971 where his age was assessed
as   25   years   which   makes   the   date   of   birth   as
22.9.1946   but   this   medical   report   cannot   be
considered as this was a routine medical report and
no   medical   board   was   set   up   specifically   for   age
determination. The committee felt that the date of
birth as 21.9.1949 was recorded in the service book
in   the   year   1975,   which   was   never   disputed
thereafter.   Moreover,   the   same   date   of   birth   was
mentioned in his pay­slip ever year which was also
published   by   the   committee.   His   LIC   record   also
indicates the same date of birth. Only at the time of
his release of payment in the year 2002 his date of
birth was considered from 21.9.1949 to 21.9.1949
which   is   against   the   DEP’s   guidelines   dated
9.2.2001. The committee, therefore, recommended to
maintain his date of birth as 21.9.1949.”
(quoted verbatim from the paperbook) 
8. This recommendation was rejected by the employer,
which resulted in the appellant filing the writ petition before
the High Court. We have referred to this writ petition and
directions issued by the High Court on 15th July 2008 earlier
in this judgment. 
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9. The   recommendation   of   the   committee   was   not
accepted by the employer in the rejection order, relying on
Clause 5 of the Standing Order.   The relevant extract from
this clause has been quoted in para (iv) of the rejection order
made by the competent authority.  We reproduce below the
said clause, as it appears in the rejection order: ­ 
“iv) …..   However,   in   case   of   Mining   workmen,
declaration of age by the individual workman in the
‘B’ Form Register as per the Mines Act/Rules may be
relied   upon   subject   to   confirmation   by   the
Company’s   Medical   Officer   whenever   considered
necessary.”
(quoted verbatim from the paperbook) 
10. In the rejection order, reference was also made to the
guidelines   of   the   Department   of   Public   Enterprises,
Government of India.  In Clauses (v), (vi) and (vii) of the said
order, it is recorded:­
“v. The   department   of   Public   Enterprises,
Government   of   India   in   its   guidelines   dated   9th
February, 2001 states that the date of birth declared
by  an   employee   and   accepted   by   the  appropriate
authority shall not be altered unless the same is
represented   against   with   adequate
proof/justification   within   5   years   of   joining   the
service.
vi. Whereas,   Shri   Shankarlal   never   disputed   the
date   of   birth   recorded   in   ‘B’   Form,   which   is   the
primary document for the purpose of recording date
of birth of employee working in Mines as per the
Mines Act and as well as the Standing Orders of the
Company, until his release from the services of the
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Company on voluntary retirement on 03.10.2002 i.e.
after 31 years of service.
vii. The competent authority has taken note of the
recommendation   of   the   Committee,   which   was
appointed in 2004 to examine anomalies in dates of
birth of certain number of employees. It is seen that
while   examining   this   case,   the   committee   had
somehow   failed   to   consider   and   record   the
importance of Clause No.5 of the Standing Order
applicable in case of mining workmen as referred
above. The competent authority has therefore not
accepted   the   recommendations   of   the   said
committee.”
(quoted verbatim from the paperbook)
11. In the appellant’s writ petition seeking invalidation of
the rejection order, the High Court found the stand taken by
the authorities in rejecting the appellant’s plea for treating
his date of birth as 21st September 1949 to be justified. The
Single Judge of the High Court considered the fact that no
documentary evidence was available on record to support his
date of birth to be 21st September 1949. The appellant’s writ
petition was dismissed. Against the judgment of dismissal,
the appellant approached the Division Bench of the same
Court. The Division  Bench  also primarily relied upon  the
entry in the Form “B” register and dismissed the appeal. The
Division Bench, inter alia, held:­
“(5) There shall be a presumption of correctness with
regard to entries regarding date of birth made as far
back   as   1971   in   the   statutory   Form   ‘B’   register
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under   the   Mines   Act.   If   the   Appellant   seeks   to
challenge entries in a statutory register duly signed
by him also, the onus lies on him to prove how it
was   wrongly   made.   Obviously   the   age   mentioned
was not a figment of imagination by the Respondent
evident from the order of appointment which states
that it was based on his own statement
(6) The service book of the Appellant was opened in
the year 1975. There was no challenge to entry in
the same also. According to the DPE guidelines any
request  for  correction  in  the date  of birth in the
service book was required to be made within 5 years.
If there was a prescription of time limit, the question
of raising any controversy much after that period
and acceptance of VRS 2002 simply does not arise. 
(7)  The Appellant accepted the benefits of the VRS
and then raised the dispute. The Respondents in all
fairness referred his case to a Medical Board which
again opined in confirmation of the entries made in
the   Form   ‘B’   register   and   the   service   book.   The
contention of the Appellant with regard to his date of
birth being 21.09.1947 becomes a disputed question
of   fact   which   cannot   be   inquired   in   the   writ
jurisdiction quite apart from the fact of it having
been raised very belatedly.”
(quoted verbatim from the paperbook) 
12. The stand of the employer, thus, is that in his service
book there was error in recording the age of the appellant as
26 years in 1975 and we ought not to give any credence to
such recordal. The respondents had only corrected an error
and such recordal in service book cannot be treated to be
acceptance of the appellant’s date of birth as 21st September
1949. We, however, find that the authorities proceeded in
this matter in a rather mechanical manner and embarked on
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a unilateral exercise of correcting the age entry in the service
book on their perception that an error was being corrected.
This exercise was conducted without giving any opportunity
of hearing to the appellant and at the fag end of his service
tenure. Otherwise, various documents including the L.I.C.
policy   consistently   reflect   21st  September   1949   to   be   the
appellant’s birthdate.
13. Clause 5 of the Standing Order on which reliance has
been placed by the employer does not treat the entry in the
Form   ‘B’   recording   date   of   birth   of   a   miner   to   be   the
conclusive proof of his or her age. Any doubt on a workman’s
age at the time of joining service also could be verified by a
medical board.   We accept that an entry in the Form “B”
possesses high probative value, but they are not conclusive
proof of what is contained therein. The competent authority
proceeded   on   the   basis   that   since   the   appellant   did   not
question the entry in Form “B”, he ought not to be permitted
to question the same at the time of his voluntary retirement.
14. The committee report prepared by three deputy general
managers of the respondent no.1 has raised doubt of the
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correctness of the medical report as the same was not a
report   of   a   medical   board   set   up   specifically   for   age
determination.  It appears to have been a general observation
in course of health check­up.  There does not appear to have
had   been   any   other   medical   board   constituted   for   that
purpose. The Division Bench, in the judgment under appeal,
has held that the respondents had referred the appellant’s
case   to   a   medical   board   which   had   again   confirmed   the
entries made in the Form “B” register. We do not find from
the   counter   affidavit   that   any   further   medical   board   was
constituted. Moreover, the finding of the Division Bench that
opinion of the medical board confirmed the entries made in
the Form “B” register and service book is erroneous as in the
service book prepared in the year 1975, the year of birth of
the appellant has been treated to be 1949. Moreover, the
rejection   order   does   not   deal   with   the   committee’s
observation that the medical opinion on the appellant’s age
was a routine medical report and not the opinion of a medical
board   constituted   to   determine   the   age   of   an   employee.
Subsequent   pay­slips,   the   sample   copies   of   which   have
already been referred to in a preceding part of this judgment
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also repeated 1949 to be the appellant’s year of birth. The
L.I.C. policy subscribed to by the appellant also carries the
same date of birth.
15. One   of   the   factors   that   weighed   with   the   Division
Bench was that there was no challenge to entry in the service
book, which should have been done within five years as per
the DPE guidelines. We are unable to accept this reasoning
as the service book contained 21st  September 1949 as his
date   of   birth   and   this   was   prepared  in   1975.    Thus,  no
occasion arose for approaching the employer for making any
correction in the service book till 2002.  
16.   This is not a case where a workman is seeking to
change his date of birth to his benefit at the end of his career.
This is a case where the employer is altering the records at
the end of the career of the workman to his detriment on
taking unilateral decision that the date of birth specified in
the appellant’s service book was erroneous, relying on a date
disclosed in a statutory form.   Turning to Clause 5 of the
Standing Order, we have already expressed our view on the
evidentiary value of the entries in Form “B” as regards date of
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birth of a workman.   In the committee report, the DPE’s
guidelines dated 9th  February, 2001 has been referred to,
which   deals   with   alteration   of   the   date   of   birth   of   an
employee. The report records: ­
“1. As per the DPE’s guidelines dated 9.2.2001, an
alteration of date of birth of an employee may be
considered   with   the   sanction   of   the   Board   of
Directors, if
(a) request in this regard is made within 5 years of
his   entry   into   the   service   of   the   Public   Sector
Undertaking
(b) It is clear established that a genuine bonafide
mistake had occurred.
(c) and date of birth so altered should not make him
ineligible   to   appear   in   any   school/University   in
which he had appeared or for entry in Public Sector
Service on the date on which he first appeared at
such   examination   or   on   the   date   on   which   he
entered the Public Sector Services.”
(quoted verbatim from the paperbook) 
17. Though in the Form “B”, the appellant’s age in 1971
was   given   as   26   years   (the   date   of   birth   shown   as   21st
September   1945),   in   the   subsequent   documents   the   date
appearing in service book had been reflected and it was the
date reflected in the service book which formed the basis of
the pay­slips as also the estimate statement of the appellant’s
voluntary retirement benefits.   In such circumstances, the
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appellant’s failure to seek correction in the Form “B” register
could be condoned.
18. The employer has taken a stand that the date of birth
recorded of the appellant in the service book was an act by
mistake. This is a weak explanation in our opinion. Several
subsequent steps were taken by the employer in relation to
the appellant’s employment on the basis of the entry in his
service   book.   The   employer   are   the   custodian   of   these
records.  They  acted  all   along  on   the  basis  of   the   service
entries till the appellant took VRS. It has been pleaded by the
appellant that at the time of his appointment, the office of the
respondent company entered in all their records his date of
birth as 21st September 1949. In the light of these facts, we
are not inclined to accept the version of the employer that
service book recordal was a mistake. The employer, a public
sector unit in this case, was expected to act with a certain
element of responsibility in maintaining the service records of
their   workmen   and   ensure   that   there   is   uniformity   in
particulars   concerning   individual   employees.   There   is   no
explanation as to how this mistake occurred and how pay
slips continued to be issued carrying the mistaken date of
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birth for such a long time.  The High Court in our view ought
not to have had accepted “mistake” as the cause for different
entries in different documents. 
19. The other point on which argument has been advanced
on behalf of the employer is on the aspect of delay on the
appellant’s part in questioning the mistake in the Form “B”. It
has been urged by the respondents’ counsel that they had
extended the sum as per the VRS package computed on the
basis   of   21st  September   1945   as   his   date   of   birth   and
complaint on that count was raised by the appellant after
receiving such benefits. It is their case that the anomaly was
discovered sometime in July­August 2002 and the appellant
was asked to appear before a higher authority, which he did
on   16th  October   2002.   The   note   sheet   of   the   appellant’s
meeting with the Assistant General Manager on 16th October
2002 has been annexed to the respondent’s counter­affidavit
marked as “R1”. The note sheet records that the appellant
had refused to put his signature thereon. Such refusal is not
of much significance so far as adjudication of the subjectdispute   is   concerned.     Fact   remains   that   this   note­sheet
appears to be the first document by which the employer had
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alerted the appellant of their decision to rely on Form “B”
entry for computing his age. 
20. The   said   document   came   into   existence   after   the
appellant was released from his service on 3rd October 2002.
No document of earlier origin in this regard has been brought
to   our   notice   in   course   of   hearing   of   this   appeal.   The
appellant complained against such decision on 26th October
2002. Thus, the process of fixing of the appellant’s date of
birth   had   continued   beyond   the   date   on   which   he   was
released from his service.
21. We do not think the appellant’s complaint over the
dispute was belated so as to non­suit him on this count
alone.     VRS   benefit   is   an   entitlement   and   assumes   the
character of property to the employee concerned once his
application for VRS is accepted. It is the right of a person
under Article 300A of the Constitution of India to have the
VRS benefit to be given on accurate assessment thereof, the
employer here being a public sector unit.   If at the time of
quantifying the VRS benefit after accepting an employee’s
application for voluntary retirement, the employer take any
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step that would reduce such benefit in monetary terms, such
step shall have to be taken under the authority of law.  We
find the action of the employer lacking in authority of law in
this case on two counts. First, it fails for not adhering to the
principles of natural justice. The decision not to follow the
service   book   recordal   was   taken   without   giving   an
opportunity of hearing to the appellant. The opportunity of
hearing of the appellant also accrued because the employer
themselves had proceeded on the basis that the later date
i.e., 21st September 1949 was the birthdate of the appellant
and this was a long established position. Moreover, since in
the own records of the employer two dates were shown, under
normal circumstances it would have been incumbent on their
part   to   undertake   an   exercise   on   application   of   mind   to
determine in which of these two records the mistake had
crept   in.   That   process   would   also   have   had   to   involve
participation   of   the   appellant,   which   would   have   been
compatible with the principles of natural justice. There are
several authorities in which this Court has deprecated the
practice on the part of the employees at the fag end of their
career to dispute the records pertaining to their dates of birth
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that would have the effect of extension of the length of their
service.   We   are   not   referring   to   those   authorities   in   this
judgment as the ratio laid down on that count by this Court
is   not   relevant   for   adjudication   of   this   appeal.   The   very
reasoning on which an employee is not permitted to raise
age­correction plea at the fag end of his service to extend his
tenure should also apply to the employer as well. It is the
employer here who had proceeded on the basis of age of the
appellant   reflected   in   his   service   book   during   the   latter’s
service tenure and they ought not to be permitted to fall back
on the Form “B” which would curtail the VRS benefit of the
appellant.
22. The principle of estoppel cannot be invoked in this case
against the appellant to debar him from claiming the benefit
properly  computed  as per  his age reflected in  the  official
documents. Occasion did not arise for the appellant to advert
to the age correcting process so far as entry in the Form “B”
is concerned as the employer themselves had treated his date
of birth to be 21st September 1949 in the service book. 
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23. In these circumstances, we are of the opinion that the
Division Bench as also the Single Judge of the High Court did
not   appreciate   the   materials   available   in   their   proper
perspective.  We  do  not  think   that  the   view  taken  by  the
Division Bench was a possible view. Sustaining such view
would   result   in   depriving   the   appellant   of   his   legitimate
benefits under the applicable Voluntary Retirement Scheme.
The   materials   relied   upon   by   the   appellant   were   ignored
altogether. We thus set aside the judgment of the Division
Bench. As a consequence, the judgment of the Single Judge
also would stand set aside. The rejection order dated 13th
October   2008   of   the   competent   authority   shall   stand
quashed.   The respondent no.1 proceeded in the case of the
appellant in an erroneous manner in treating the appellant’s
date of birth to be 21st September 1945. We accordingly direct
the   respondents   to   extend   the   benefits   of   VRS   to   the
appellant treating his date of birth as 21st September 1949.
Such benefits shall be extended to him within a period of four
months, upon deducting therefrom the sum already paid to
him.   The differential amount shall carry simple interest at
the rate of seven percent (7%) per annum to be computed
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from   3rd  October   2002,   being   the   date   on   which   he   was
released from service, till the date of actual payment to him
in terms of this judgment. 
24. The appeal is allowed accordingly. 
25. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.
26. There shall be no order as to costs.
         ….….……..................................J.
(Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud)
 .…………………..........................J.
(Aniruddha Bose)
NEW DELHI;
20th April, 2022. 
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