“A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ” – David Hume
The Orissa HC in the case of Management Committee, CFH Scheme, Paradip Port v. Paradip Port Workers Union & Anr, observed that mere admission by a person of a different date as his date of birth cannot stand in the face of documentary proof of date of birth like School Leaving Certificate. Granting the decision in favour of the workman the court held, “School leaving certificate is one of the proofs of date of birth. Furthermore, admissions can be explained. Section 31 in Indian Evidence Act, 1872 says admissions are not conclusive proof but may operate as estoppel under the provisions thereafter contained. “
In this matter, the dispute was regarding the date of birth of a workman. In the first instance, the date of birth told by him was 28th August 1959. After inquiry, he admitted to having been born two years prior to his claimed date of birth, i.e. 28th August 1956. According to his admission, the registration form was altered and he signed on it as acknowledgement. However, he pointed out the discrepancy in his date of birth in 2007, seven years before he was to achieve the age of superannuation after duly obtaining his school leaving certificate, in which it was clearly mentioned that he was born on 28th August 1958.
He approached the tribunal for necessary corrections and the tribunal decided in favor of the worker. This decision was challenged before HC, but no merit was found in the writ petition, hence, leading to dismissal of the same.
Sec 31 of The Indian Evidence Act : Admissions are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted, but they may operate as estoppels under the provisions hereinafter contained.