By Our Legal Correspondent
NEW DELHI, MARCH 15 . The Supreme Court has held that the date of birth (DoB) entered in one's horoscope cannot be taken as conclusive proof for determining the age if the DoB recorded in the school register is different.
A Bench, comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S.H. Kapadia, giving this ruling said: "Horoscope is a very weak material to prove age of a person." But "where no other material is available, the horoscope may be considered but subject to its authenticity being established." For a horoscope to be treated as evidence in terms of Section 32 (5) of the Indian Evidence Act, it must be proved to have been prepared by a person having special knowledge as regards to the authenticity of date and time mentioned therein. The school records have more probative value than a horoscope for determining the exact date of birth of a person, the Bench said allowing an appeal of the Punjab Government against a High Court order ruling in favour of a person who had relied on the horoscope for proving his DoB.
The Judges noted that in most cases the maker of the horoscope might not be available to prove that it was made immediately after the birth. "A heavy onus lies on the person who wants to press it into service to prove its authenticity." On the contrary, the statement contained in the admission register of the school as to the age of an individual on information supplied to the school authorities by the father, guardian or a close relative was more authentic evidence unless established by unimpeachable contrary material that the DoB was inherently improbable. Therefore, the school records had more probative value than a horoscope, the Bench said.
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