February 6, 2020 12:58:21 pm
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has said that the Aadhaar cannot be considered “conclusive proof of age” and held that more credence is attached to the birth or matriculate certificates in this regard.
“These are generally considered as conclusive proof of one’s age,” the division bench of Justices Daya Chaudhary and Meenakshi I Mehta said in an order, while hearing a divorce petition from Ludhiana.
The couple had approached the family court in Ludhiana last year seeking divorce through mutual consent under Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act. However, the trial court dismissed their petition saying the date of birth of the wife was mentioned as ‘15.08.1987’ in her Aadhaar and as the marriage of the couple took place ‘26.11.2004’, the wife was yet to attain the age of 18 years. It was not a valid marriage and thus they cannot invoke the provisions of the Act, added the court.
The birth certificate dated ‘22.08.1986’ produced before the division bench showed her date of birth as ‘15.08.1986’ — indicating that she had completed 18 years of age at the time of marriage. The court observed that the birth certificate was registered only a week after birth and the Aadhaar card was prepared subsequently.
“It being so, Mark-A (Aadhaar) cannot be said to be the conclusive proof of her age. Rather, more credence is attached to the birth certificate or matriculation certificate showing the date of birth of a person and these are generally considered as conclusive proof of one’s age,” reads the order.
The court further said that the parties have amicably settled their dispute and have decided to live separately. “The endeavour of the court in such cases should be to bring the dispute between the parties to an end on the basis of their settlement,” it said, while remanding the case to the trial court with a direction to take into consideration the birth certificate after its verification in accordance with the law.
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