IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA
Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.16471 of 2021
Nida Amina Ahmad, ... ... Petitioner
CORAM: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE PURNENDU SINGH C.A.V.
Date : 21-02-2023
2. The present writ petition has been filed by the petitioner for the following reliefs: [A]
For issuance of an appropriate writ order or direction setting aside the letter dated 13-10- 2017 (Annexure-8) issued by the Regional Passport Officer Patna informing the petitioner regarding closure of Passport application bearing Patna High Court because denial of a citizens right to go abroad is violation of Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 14, 19 & 21 of the Constitution of India as has been settled by the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court of India in the case of Satwant Singh Sawhney versus D. Ramarathnam. Assistant Passport Officer, New Delhi and others reported in AIR 1967 SC 1836 and thereafter commanding the respondents to reopen the File No. PA 107344039013 and issue fresh passport in the name of petitioner containing date of Birth as 05-08- 1994, by exercising the power contained in Circular No.VI/401/2/5/2001 dated 26th November 2015. [B] For issuance of an appropriate writ order or direction commanding the respondents to take final decision by issuing a fresh Passport to the petitioner in view of the aforesaid case as well as seven judges judgment in Smt. Maneka Gandhi versus Union of India & others reported in AIR 1978 SC 597. [C] For issuance of an appropriate writ in the nature of Mandamus or any other writ be issued to the petitioner holding that if due to any inadvertance on the part of the petitioner's father, an excusable error was committed in her date of birth when she was minor and now when she has attained the age of majority and is in a position to apprise the authority with respect to her correct date of birth which is recorded in her school, college certificates and obstinate instance taken by the Passport authority that such correction cannot be done amounts to denial of her Fundamental rights not only to go abroad but to achieve and improve her educational qualifications. The Hon'ble Court should appreciate and hold that the mistake is such an "ipsi diksit" that her father has given the date of birth inadvertently at the time of first grant of Passport as 05-08-1993 and not 05- 08-1994. [D] For issuance of an appropriate writ order or direction commanding the respondents for taking final decision on the application/petition of petitioner dated 20-01-2017 & 12-03-2021 and finally dispose off said application/petition by reasoned and speaking order that too after hearing the petitioner.
3. The main issue involved in the present case is as to whether the date of birth recorded in matriculation certificate as 05.08.1994 will be held to be the correct date of birth of the Patna High Court petitioner or the date of birth recorded as 05.08.1993 in the Passport No. A5496057 which was issued on 29.05.1998.
4. The case of the petitioner is that earlier Passport No. A5496057 which was issued on 29.05.1998 in the name of the petitioner was expired on 28.05.2008. The petitioner was minor at that time and the said passport was applied by her father. The petitioner after expiry of the said passport had applied for issuance of fresh passport in the office of Regional Passport Officer, Patna on 30.10.2013. In the said application, according to the petitioner, she has given her correct name and correct date of birth as recorded in her matriculation certificate duly granted to her by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), New Delhi. The Regional Passport Officer, Patna after scrutinizing the application of the petitioner had made a communication dated 17.02.2014 by which the petitioner was asked to furnish an order of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Patna for correction of date of birth from 05.08.1993 to 05.08.1994. Pursuant to the said demand, the petitioner filed Misc. Case No. 1074(M)/2014 under the Indian Passport Act, 1967 and the Rules framed thereunder in the court of learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patna. The said miscellaneous case was permitted to be withdrawn with a liberty to file a declaratory suit. Thereafter, the petitioner filed a Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 for change of her date of birth as well as change of her name. The Title Suit was partially allowed by holding that the petitioner is entitled for change of name only and not in change of date of birth. Thereafter, the petitioner filed Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017 which was dismissed on 18.11.2017 and the judgment and decree dated 30.09.2016 and 24.10.2016 respectively passed in Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 by the learned Munsif-III, Patna was upheld. The petitioner had filed an application for issuance of fresh passport on 28.06.2017 before passing of the order in Appeal without disclosing the facts of previous passport as well as with regard to the passport application filed in the year 2013. The petitioner was penalized and file of year 2013 was closed on 13.10.2017. Thereafter, she again moved to the court of District Judge, Patna in Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017 which was rejected vide order dated 18.11.2017 by upholding the order passed by the Munsif-III, Patna. Since the appeal was dismissed, the passport was not issued with changed date of birth. Hence, the present writ petition.
5. Learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that the father of the petitioner had applied mentioning her date of birth as 05.08.1993 and the same was recorded in Passport No. A5496057 which was issued on 29.05.1998. The petitioner was admitted in one of the premier Patna High Court schools of Patna, St. Joseph Convent High School, Bankipore, Patna, on the basis of the school leaving certificate issued by her earlier school Infant Jesus School, Patna and on that basis, her date of birth was recorded as 05.08.1994 in the year 2003 (Annexure-1). He further submitted that learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Patna in Misc. Case No. 1074(M)/2014 had sought a report from the Principal of the School and a report was submitted in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Patna vide Letter dated 17.06.2014 by the Principal of St. Joseph Convent High School, Patna whereby the school informed that the date of birth of the petitioner as per the records has been recorded as 05.08.1994 and her name as Nida Amina Ahmad. The trial court in Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 amongst other issues had framed issue nos. (vii) and (viii) which, inter alia, is reproduced as follows: VII. Whether the correct date of birth of the plaintiff no-2 is 05.08.94? VIII. Whether for all practical purpose the name of plaintiff no-2 is Nida Amina Ahmad instead of Nida Ahmad?
6. The Suit was contested by the respondent, but the same was partially allowed by holding that the petitioner is not entitled for change of birth in the passport, however, allowed the change of name only. The petitioner, thereafter, filed Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017 which was dismissed on contest. The petitioner had applied for issuance of fresh passport vide File No. PA1061199361017 dated 28.06.2017 in light of the Circular No. VI/401/2/5/2001 dated 26.11.2015 issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India by which fresh guidelines have been issued with regard to change / correction of date of birth entries in the passport of an applicant already held by him/her. It is the specific case of the petitioner that Clause 4 (iii) of the said Circular is very specific and goes to indicate that the Passport Officer has been authorized to take final decision in case of application filed with respect to change/correction of date of birth entries in the passport of an applicant already held by him/her and it is in this background that the petitioner had filed a petition dated 20.01.2017 addressed to the Regional Passport Officer, Patna with reference to File No. PA107344039013 in which entire factual details were incorporated along with the relevant and supporting documents for issuance of fresh passport recording date of birth as 05.08.1994. It is further case of the petitioner that the respondents have stated in their counter affidavit which is on record that the petitioner has suppressed the facts of the previous passport as well as passport application made in the year 2013 for which she was imposed penalty of Rs.1000/- and file of year 2013 was closed on 13.10.2017, will not amount to any suppression of fact as the said file which was opened in the year 2013 as per their own admission was closed on 13.10.2017. Learned counsel further submitted that due to inadvertence on the part of the father of the petitioner, an excusable error was committed in her date of birth when she was minor and now when she has attained the age of majority and is in a position to apprise the authority with respect to her correct date of birth which is recorded in her school, college certificates and stubborn instance taken by the passport authority that such correction cannot be done solely on the ground that learned trial court had rejected the claim of the petitioner for change of her date of birth and upheld by the appellate court. It is further submitted that the simple ground for not entertaining the application of the petitioner on the ground that there is order of a competent civil court. The petitioner having conscious of the said fact urged before this Court to add Article 227 of the Constitution and vide order dated 18.01.2023, the cause title of the present writ petition was permitted to be read as an application filed under Article 226 read with Article 227 of the Constitution for setting aside the judgment passed by the trial court and the appellant court.
7. Learned counsel, in these background, submitted that the denial of the petitioner’s right for recording her correct Patna High Court date of birth as per the matriculation certificate issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi is violation of fundamental right granted under Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India. He further relied upon following judgments in support of his argument that in view of the subsequent Circular the Passport Officer can entertain to change the date of birth and the earlier order will not bar on the ground of res judicata. and in this regard, learned counsel has relied upon the following judgments: 1. AIR 1967 SC 1836 2. AIR 1971 SC 2355 3. AIR 1986 SC 180 4. AIR 1991 SC 993 5. AIR 2013 SC 553. 6. AIR 2018 SC 3395
8. Learned counsel further submitted that the judgment and decree passed in Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 and Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017 are fit to be rejected to protect her fundamental right and also in light of several notifications issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India contained in Circular No. VI/401/2/5/2001 dated 26.11.2015 and Circular No. VI/402/02/01/2016 dated 08.02.2017 which supports the case of the petitioner that all pending cases of change of date of birth be processed as per the Ministry’s instruction contained in Circular dated 22.09.2016 and Circular dated 26.11.2015. Patna High Court
9. Referring to Circular dated 26.11.2015, learned counsel submitted that if an applicant applies for the change of date of birth in the passport within a reasonable period of time i.e. within a span of five (5) years from the date of issue of passport having the alleged wrong date of birth, the request of such an applicant irrespective of the difference in the dates of birth, may be considered by the Passport Issuing Authority, if the applicant is able to provide the date of birth issued by the Registrar of Births and Deaths and further states that date of birth recorded in the passport was based on the entries mentioned in the documents other than the Birth Certificate.
10. Learned counsel for the petitioner fairly submitted that the petitioner had made a request to the Municipal Authority to issue her birth certificate as per Matriculation Certificate but the same was denied and taking such stand in the counter affidavit by the respondent in view of the extant Rules mentioned in Para 6.4.2 of Chapter 8 of the Passport Manual, 2020 which allows an applicant for correction of date of birth in the passport on the basis of a fresh or corrected Birth Certificate which was submitted earlier for issuance of fresh passport is not permissible in the admitted position of the case. The following procedure is required to be followed: (a) In case of furnishing of a new amended BC with the same date of issue and registration number of the old BC by the same authority, application for change in DOB be processed subject to physical verification of the new BC. (b) In case of furnishing of a new BC by a different authority in replacement of old BC by another authority, the PIA shall insist on cancellation of the old BC and after physical verification of the cancellation certificate and the fresh BC from issuing authorities, application for change in DOB be processed. (c) In case of furnishing of a new Be where the first passport was obtained using other documents like educational school certificates etc., application for change in DOB be processed subject to physical verification of the new Be and other supplementary documents (if required);
11. Therefore, the ground for rejection that the trial court had directed that the petitioner is not entitled for change of date of birth in passport, which was affirmed vide order dated 18.11.2017 by the appellant Court must not come in a way when the petitioner had produced valid certificate granted by the Central Board of Secondary Education in which her date of birth has been recorded as 05.08.1994. Learned counsel for the petitioner in these background submitted that the judgment and decree dated 30.09.2016 and 24.10.2016 passed in Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 and judgment and decree dated 18.11.2017 passed in Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017 are fit to be set aside and a direction be issued to the Regional Passport Officer for recording date of birth of the petitioner as 05.08.1994 and issue a fresh passport. The petitioner further prays that the Municipal Authority be also directed to record correct date of birth in their record to safeguard the fundamental rights of the petitioner.
12. Learned senior counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent submitted that unless and until the Judgment and decree dated 30.09.2016 and 24.10.2016 passed in Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 and judgment dated 18.11.2017 passed in Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017 are set aside, the passport authority as on date is required to obey the judgment passed by the competent court of law. He further submitted that in the Judgment and decree dated 30.09.2016 and 24.10.2016 passed in Title Suit No. 5745 of 2014 and judgment dated 18.11.2017 passed in Title Appeal No. 14 of 2017, relief for change of date of birth in passport has been denied.
13. Heard the parties.
14. The core issues involved in determining the present case is as to whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner is entitled for change in her date of birth from 05.08.1993 to 05.08.1994. The rejection by the Passport Officer is on the ground that the competent court of civil jurisdiction has held that the petitioner is not entitled for her change of date of birth and this Court under Articles 226 and 227 has jurisdiction to set aside the judgment and decree passed by the trial court and the appellate court.
15. The issue regarding determining the correct date of birth based on several documents came before the Apex Court from time to time. In Brij Mohan Singh v. Priya Brat Narain Sinha and others, reported in AIR 1965 SC 282, the five Judges Bench of the Hon'ble Supreme Court while considering a case in which the election of a candidate was challenged inter alia on the ground that on the date of nomination, the appellant was below 25 years of age. The petitioner in the election petition, the candidate who lost, had produced three documents; being the admission register of a school, an application made by the respondent for employment and the certificate issued by the School Examination Board of Bihar, all of which showed him to be below 25 years of age. Negativing the reliance placed on such documents, it was held so: "The appellant's case is that once this wrong entry was made in the admission register it was necessarily carried forward to the Matriculation Certificate and was also adhered to in the application for the post of a SubInspector of Police. This explanation was accepted by the Election Tribunal but was rejected by the High Court as untrustworthy. However much one may condemn such an act of making a false statement of age with a view to secure an advantage in getting public service, a judge of facts cannot ignore the position that in actual life this happens not infrequently. We find it impossible to say that the Election Tribunal was wrong in accepting the appellant's explanation. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, we are of the opinion that the explanation may very well be true and so it will not be proper for the court to base any conclusion about the appellant's age on the entries in these three documents, viz., Ex.2, Ex.8 and Ext.18".
16. In the case of Umesh Chandra v. State of Rajasthan reported in (1982) 2 SCC 202, it was held that oral evidence in respect of age has no value which could necessarily be proved only through documentary evidence. The court herein disbelieved a horoscope and relied upon the records maintained by the school.
17. In the case of Birad Mal Singhvi v. Anand Purohit reported in AIR 1988 SC 1796, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that “production of a certificate issued by the School Authorities would alone not prove the truth.” It was held as under: "If the entry in the scholar's register regarding date of birth is made on the basis of information given by parents, the entry would have evidentiary value but if it is given by a stranger or by someone else who had no special means of knowledge of the date of birth, such an entry will have no evidentiary value. Merely because the documents Exs.8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 were proved, it does not mean that the contents of documents were also proved. Mere proof of the documents Exts.8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 would not tantamount to proof of all the contents or the correctness of date of birth stated in the documents. XXX XXX XXX To render a document admissible under Section 35, three conditions must be satisfied, firstly, entry that is relied on must be one in a public or other official book, register or record, secondly, it must be an entry stating a fact in issue or relevant fact, and thirdly, it must be made by a public servant in discharge of his official duty, or any other person in performance of a duty specially enjoined by law. An entry relating to date of birth made in the school register is relevant and admissible under Section 35 of the Act but the entry regarding to the age of a person in a school register is of not much evidentiary value to prove the age of the person in the absence of material on which the age was recorded". Hence, the production of a certificate issued by the school authorities would not by that alone prove the truth of the declaration based on which the entries are made.”
18. In Dayachand v. Sahib Singh and anr, reported in (1991) 2 SCC 379, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that although the tendency of many to have lesser age recorded in school is well known and can be easily appreciated but cannot be accepted as the same was clearly in conflict with the medical evidence. Thus, in the said case medical evidence which observes the physical developments especially with regard to the bone structure formation opine a certain age which trumped the records in the school register. 19. In the case of Vishnu @ Undrya v. State of Maharashtra, in Crl. A. No. 001112-001113/1999 the Hon'ble Apex Court has chosen to believe the date of birth as indicated in the birth register maintained by the Municipal Corporation and disregarded the date of birth as recorded by the school register. The reasoning to do so has been that the best evidence with regard to the age of the child is that of the parents of the child. It has further held that credence-worthy documentary evidence will prevail over expert witness of a doctor and even ossification test.
20. In the case of Pradeep Kumar v. State of U.P., reported in 1995 Supp (4) SCC 419 the court has relied upon the School certificate as well as the age indicated by medical examination as both of them were consistent and indicated the same age.
21. In Ashwani Kumar Saxena v. State of M.P. reported in (2012) 9 SCC, 750 the court relied on the admission register of the school as clinching evidence. The reasoning that the parents would have given a wrong date of birth was taken to be a specious plea and disbelieved. It is well settled that the issue of the juvenility could be raised at any point in time or at any stage of the proceedings. A similar view regarding age depends on case and the documents which are on record and credence worthy.
22. In Mukarrab & others v. State of U.P. reported in (2017) 2 SCC 210 the court observed that in the absence of a birth certificate issued by the authority concerned the determination of age becomes a very difficult task providing a lot of discretion to the judges to pick and choose evidence. It was held that if two views were possible, the court should lean in favour of taking a beneficial approach.
23. Now, the procedure to arrive at the age in case of conflicting documents on record, a preferential regime where the school certificate or matriculation certificate has been accorded the highest preference. 24. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India from time to time issued guidelines regarding change / correction of Date of Birth and in this regard relevant Circular needs a careful consideration in deciding the claim of the petitioner. One such guidelines contained in Circular No. VI/401/2/5/2001 dated 18.04.2001 as amended on 29.10.2007 and 15.01.2008 was the subject matter before the Kerala High Court in case of Jayakumar v. The Regional Transport Officer and Others (W.P. No. 7073 of 2015 (H). In the said case, for change of date of birth, reliance was placed on SSLC certificates, transfer register of the school, election identity card etc. The Hon’ble Court relying on several judgments made following observation in Paragraph Nos. 17, 19 and 20 and finally made its observation in Para-22 as follows: 17. The admissibility of the Record of Deaths and Births, maintained by the statutory authorities under Section 35 of the Evidence Act, 1872, was upheld by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in CIDCO vs. Vasudha Gorakhnath Mandevlekhar [JT 2009 (8) 495 = LAWS (SC) 2009-5-79]. That was a case in which an employee while entering the service of a Corporation disclosed her date of birth to be 02.10.1950. However, relying on a memo submitted by the employee subsequent to her appointment, wherein the year of birth was interpolated as "1950" after scoring of the year "1948", the employee was found liable for superannuation taking her date of birth as 1948. The employee produced Birth Certificate indicating the date of birth to be 02.10.1950, which certificate was dated 02.04.2000. The Hon'ble Supreme Court found that but for the interpolation in a solitary memo, all the service records show the year of date of birth to be 1950. The employee's claim was upheld on two grounds; one that the Births & Deaths Register maintained by the statutory authority raises a presumption of correctness and that the Corporation is bound by its own records. That was a case in which the date of birth disclosed in the Register of Deaths and Births tallied with the consistent declaration of the employee as was revealed from the records of the corporation. Herein, no explanation is offered as to why a false declaration was made, despite the correct date of birth being entered in the Register of Births and Deaths. The fact that such wrong declaration has been acted upon by many, restricts the grant of relief to the petitioner.
19. Apposite also would be a reference to Satwant Singh v. A.P.O., New Delhi [AIR 1967 SC 1836]:- "A passport, whether in England or in the United States of America serves diverse purposes; it is a "request for protection", it is a document of identity, it is a prima facie evidence of nationality; in modern times it not only control exit from the State to which one belongs, but without it, with a few exceptions, it is not possible to enter another State. It has become a condition for free travel".
20. The Passport hence, is a political document issued by the sovereign of a country to its citizen, giving him the protection due to a citizen of that country, in his travels and residence abroad. The citizen who travels abroad and resides abroad and gets himself employed abroad, however, traces his roots and his citizenry status to the country of his origin on the basis of his Passport, which is the basic document on which such travel, residence and employment is facilitated. The declarations made in the Passport and the stamp of approval by his/her sovereign State reveals the details of the identity of the citizen to all and sundry outside the country in his travels. The details entered therein are taken by any person/agency, of the outside country, in which he/she travels and resides as the authenticated details of his existence as a citizen of his/her country of origin. These details are acted upon in dealing with him, employing him and allowing him to travel and reside in the foreign countries.
22. The Passport issued by the sovereign State is the property of the State under Section 17 of the Passports Act, 1967. The details entered therein cannot be lightly interfered with, that too after very many years without any sustainable cause and without any explanation as to why initially such a wrong declaration was made and why now a change is sought; that too based on a document which was available with the applicant when the original declaration was made. It is not proper for this court to sit lightly in this jurisdiction and issue orders without proper satisfaction of an illegality or injustice having been occasioned. The consequence if any suffered by the petitioners are all their own making, which they never sought to rectify in all these years when they declared themselves to be of a particular age, by showing their Passports as the authenticated identity of their citizenship in India.
25. The observation made by the Kerala High Court was deliberated by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and revised guidelines contained in Circular No. VI/401/2/5/2001 dated 26.11.2015 was issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India is reproduced as under: No. VI/401/2/5/2001 Ministry of External Affairs CPV Division PV-I Section Patiala House Annexe, New Delhi the 26th November, 2015 OFFICE MEMORANDUM Subject: Guidelines with regard to change/correction of dates of birth entries in the passport of an applicant already held by him/her.Reg. It may be mentioned that the necessary provisions with regard to change/correction of dates of birth in the passports are contained in the Passports Manual, 2010 and from time to time number of circulars have been issued by the Ministry on this issue. 2. It is pertinent to mention that recently, the High Court of Kerala while hearing the WP No. 9073 of 2015 (Jayakumar Vs UOI & others) has delivered a land-mark judgment on the issue of correction/change of entries regarding date/place of birth in the passport. During the course of arguments, the Court has elaborated upon the fact that the details entered in the Passport cannot be lightly interfered with, that too after many years without any sustainable cause and without any explanation as to why initially such a wrong declaration was made and why now a change is sought that too based on a document which was available with the applicant when the original declaration was made. The High Court has further observed that the difference in dates of birth whether two years or twenty years, the power should be one to correct bonafide mistake and that too within a reasonable time. Even a Civil Court declaration after many number of years would lead to the applicant having possibly perpetrated a fraud on many other who acted upon the authenticated declaration of sovereign state as to the age status of its Citizen. 3. The Court, therefore, while dismissing the petition of the applicant petitioner has directed that the authorities would do well to introspect on the observation made herein to make suitable amendments to the circular. It has also been directed that there would be no scope for leaving any liberty on the petitioners to approach a Civil Court too on the reasoning adopted by this Court and the delay occasioned in seeking the correction. 4. Hence, the core principle of the judgment of the High Court of Kerala is that only the bonafide claims of the applicants for the change/correction of the date of birth in the passport should be accepted and that too if the same are submitted by them within a reasonable time limit after the issuance of passport. In pursuance of the directions of the High Court, it has been decided that henceforth, all the PIA shall follow the following instructions/guidelines in order to consider the claims/request the applicant for the change/correction of entries regarding of date of birth in their passports: (i) Where an applicant claims clerical/technical mistake in the entry relating to birth/place of birth in the passport and asks for rectification/correction: In all such cases, the documents produced earlier as proof of date of birth/place of birth at the time of issue of passport may be perused (if not already destroyed) by PIA. In case, It is a clerical mistake either by the applicant or the PIA, date/place of birth correction may be allowed by issue of fresh booklet; in the former case by charging fee for fresh passport and in the latter ‘gratis’ (same as mentioned in Ministry's Circular No. VI/401/2/5/2001, dated 29/10/2007). (ii) If an applicant applies for the change of date of birth in the passport within a reasonable period of time i.e. within a span of five (5) years from the date of issue of passport having the alleged wrong date of birth, with the birth certificate issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths stating that the date of birth recorded in the passport was based on the entries mentioned documents other than the Birth Certificate, the request of such an applicant irrespective of the difference in the dates of birth, may be considered by the Passport Issuing Authority. However, before the issuance of passport with changed date of birth, the Passport Authority shall also levy appropriate penalty on the applicant for obtaining passport on previous occasion by providing wrong information regarding his/her date of birth. (iii) The cases where the applicant comes to PIA for change/correction with regard to date of birth in the Passport after a period of five years from the date of issue of passport with alleged wrong date of birth, no such request shall be entertained/accepted by the PIA and be rejected out rightly. However, an exemption in this regard may be given to an applicant who was minor at the time when passport with alleged wrong date of birth was issued to him. As and when such an applicant after attaining the age of majority applies for the passport with the request to change the date of birth in the passport issued to when he was minor, the PIA irrespective of the duration of the issuance of passport may accept his case for consideration and if is satisfied with the claim and document(s) submitted by the applicant, may accept his request for change of date of birth in the passport without imposition of any penalty. (emphasis supplied) (iv) In no way, the Passport Authority will relegate the applicant to obtain the declaratory court order to carry out changes with regard to date of birth in the passport, as the Passport Authority subject to the condition that the case has been submitted by the applicant within the stipulated limit of 5 years from the date of issuance of passport (except the cases of minor passport holder as detailed in para 5(ii) above) would now be eligible to accept the genuine cases irrespective of the difference of dates of birth. 5. In view of the above, all the Passport Issuing Authorities are hereby requested to follow the above guidelines scrupulously to consider the requests of applicants for change/correction of dates of birth entries in the passports. Provisions contained in Chapter ‘4 and 8' of the Passport Manual, 2010 stand revised to the extent as stipulated above. (Muktesh K. Pardeshi) Joint Secretary (PSP & CPO) & the Chief Passport Officer All PIAs in India/Abroad.
(Purnendu Singh, J) AFR/NAFR AFR CAV
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