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It has been seen that in many cases the date of birth is entered incorrectly in the passport of an individual and there can be various reasons for such a discrepancy. Due to this discrepancy, an individual faces many problems/difficulties to get it corrected and most of the times this correction is refused by the concerned passport authority.
Guidelines of the ministry of external affairs regarding change of date of birth in the passport:-
“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 a passport with a changed date of birth, the passport authority shall also levy an appropriate penalty on the applicant for obtaining passport on previous occasion by providing wrong information regarding his/her date of birth.
4(iv) in no way, the passport authority will relegate the applicant to obtain the declaratory 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 as detailed in para 5(ii) above) would now be eligible to accept the genuine cases irrespective of the difference of dates of birth.”
However even though there are specific guidelines issued by the ministry of external affairs regarding change in the dob in the passport, it has been seen in various cases that the passport authority still refuses to follow the guidelines and thus make the necessary changes in the dob.
What to do to get the date of birth entry in the passport corrected?
⧭ firstly take an appointment from the concerned passport office and approach them for the change in dob entry in the passport with all the relevant documents.
⧭ secondly if the concerned passport officer/authority refuses to make the relevant change, then file an application/representation with the passport authority stating that despite providing all the relevant documentation, the concerned passport officer/authority has refused to make the necessary change in the dob.
⧭ thirdly if still no action has been taken by the passport authority and your application for the dob change in the passport has still not been decided then file a writ petition before the hon’ble high court with a prayer for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the concerned passport authority to make the necessary correction in the petitioner’s passport regarding the entry of date of birth (as per the instructions, issued by the ministry of external affairs and thus issuing a fresh passport to the petitioner with the requisite correction.
Case laws regarding change in date of birth in the passport:-
⧭ hon’ble high court of punjab & haryana in the case of resham singh vs union of india and another (c.w.p. no.13722 of 2007 ) had held that :-
“while considering two conflicting certificates i.e. A birth certificate issued by the registrar of births and deaths and a matriculation certificate, the date of birth indicated in the birth certificate issued by the registrar must prevail. However, the passport officer would be well within his jurisdiction to satisfy himself as to the genuineness of a certificate and in case it appears to be suspicious, manipulated or procured, he would be justified in relegating the party to approach a civil court to seek a declaration, as to his date of birth. A passport officer cannot, as a matter of routine, in situations as obtaining in the present case, direct the applicant to approach the civil court. We are, therefore, of the considered opinion that clause (c ) of instructions, which accord an equal value to a birth certificate and a matriculation certificate, as regards the date of birth and therefore, direct a party to seek adjudication before a civil court are incorrect and would have to be ignored. Thus, taking into consideration the aforementioned judgements, the enunciation of law, as detailed herein above, we are of the considered opinion that the passport authority erred by relegating the petitioner to seek a declaration before a civil court and refusing to entertain his plea for correction of his date of birth. We would like to once again emphasise that as and when an application is filed before a passport authority and there appears to be a conflict between entries in the birth certificate issued by the registrar of births and deaths and the entry of birth in a school leaving certificate, the entry in the birth certificate issued by the registrar of births and deaths would prevail and except where the certificate is unreliable, suspicious or appears to be procured or manipulated, parties should not be relegated to civil courts in a mechanical manner. Under the circumstances referred to herein above, the present writ petition is allowed. The order dated 22.8.2007 is set aside and the matter is remitted to the passport officer, jalandhar, to consider the application of the petitioner for correction in the date of birth in the passport, in accordance with law, within a period of four weeks’ from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.”
⧭ high court of gujarat in kokilaben j.panchal v. Regional passport officer, ahmedabad, air 2006 gujarat 149 had held that :- “at this stage, it is also required to be noted that normally when there is a discrepancy in the date of birth in the certificate issued by the competent authority under the provisions of the births and deaths registration act as well as school leaving certificate, in that case, primacy is required to be given to the birth certificate issued by the municipality and the competent government authority under the births and deaths registration act,unless it is on verification of such document, a doubt is created and/or authority is not satisfied with regard to the genuineness of the same. It is also required to be noted that when there is dispute with regard to genuineness of the date of birth and/or certificate, then, certainly the passport authority can refuse to make necessary correction and/or effect change in the passport with regard to the date of birth and/or place of birth is concerned and may insist for order from the court.therefore, for the aforesaid purpose, the passport authority is required to entertain the application, hold necessary enquiry and consider the same and if not satisfied then, to give reasons for not accepting the same.”
⧭ in the case of jaspreet kaur vs union of india, adv hashandeep singh sidhu from nri legal consultants appearing on behalf of the petitioner had prayed for issuance of a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the concerned passport authority to make the necessary correction in the petitioner’s passport regarding the entry of date of birth (as per the instructions, issued by the ministry of external affairs and thus issuing a fresh passport to the petitioner with the requisite correction. And the hon’ble high court in a landmark judgement had directed the passport authority to make the necessary changes in the dob entry in the passport of the petitioner and thus grant the passport to the petitioner within a specified time period.
It is imperative to understand that inorder to change the date of birth in the passport, necessary steps as mentioned above must be taken and if still the application is not being processed/decided by the competent passport authority then directions must be sought from the hon’ble high court of competent jurisdiction.