Sunday, August 21, 2011

Horoscope though admissible is a weak evidence: SC

Horoscope is an admissible piece of evidence to prove a person's date of birth though it has low reliability, the Supreme Court has held.

A bench of justices Mukundakam Sharma and Anil R Dave passing the judgement, however, said the burden of proving the authenticity of such horoscope would lie "heavily" on the person relying on it.

"We reiterate the proposition of law laid down by this court in the earlier decisions that horoscope is a very weak piece of material to prove age of a person and that heavy onus lies on a person who wants to press it into service to prove its authenticity," the bench said.

The court passed the judgement on a petition filed by Registrar General of the Madras High Court against M Manickam, a lower court judge, who has been litigating since 1993 for change in his date of birth from November 24, 1950 to March 19, 1947.

He had made his first application before the Registrar General in November 1993 contending that due to the wrong entry of his date of birth in the service records, he would retire from his service 3 years, 8 months and 5 days before his actual date of superannuation.

The apex court said that since horoscope is a primary document on which reliance is placed, "therefore, the same is required to be looked into very carefully and minutely so as to ascertain the genuineness of the claim."

The bench rejected Manickam's plea for change in his date of birth noting that even though Manickam claimed the horoscopes were made by his father at the time of their birth between 1939 and '53, but an address and its pin code printed on the pad showed the note pad was manufactured only after 1972 when the system of pin code was introduced.

"We are of a firm opinion that respondent (Manickam) has failed to discharge his onus in proving the authenticity of the horoscope on which reliance is placed," it said.

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