K.T. Sangameswaran

CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has recommended that the State government pay a compensation of Rs.25,000 to a person for mental agony caused to him by the Directorate of School Education.

In his order, Commission Chairperson Justice A.S. Venkatachalamoorthy said directions should be issued to educational authorities for fixing a time frame for disposing of applications and requests from the public. They should also be told to provide proper guidance.

C. Shanmugasundaram of Kancheepuram in his complaint stated that even after 15 years and a court decree, the mistake in his son Parthiban’s date of birth in the Standard X mark statement was not corrected. He had struggled to educate his son, who had now completed M.Com. Because of the error, Parthiban lost some job opportunities.

Correction carried out

On the Commission’s direction, the District Educational Officer (DEO), Kancheepuram, and the Joint Director of School Education appeared before it and filed statements. They said the correction was carried out in the certificate on July 9 this year. The school Headmaster was also instructed to make the correction in other documents.

Official lacked authority

The DEO stated that a candidate, after writing the Standard X examination and obtaining the certificate could not request a correction in the date of birth as the official lacked authority to do it. The date of birth in the mark statement was based on information furnished by the complainant.

The Joint Director submitted that the date of birth was entered wrongly because of the erroneous information provided by the complainant. The complainant failed to approach the appropriate authority, which led to further delay.

Claims not disputed

In his order, Mr. Justice Venkatachalamoorthy said none of the complainant’s claims had been disputed by the educational authorities. They had only stated that because the complainant provided wrong details, the date of birth was wrongly entered.

The Chairperson said the complainant moved the authorities in November 1995. A reply was sent stating that after issue of certificate, the DEO could not carry out any correction in the entry. “It is not known as to what prevented the District Educational Officer from advising the complainant what he should do and where he should go by quoting the relevant rule/departmental order or instructions.”

He said it was interesting to note that the Directorate of School Education, Chennai, did not have the records pertaining to the case prior to January 2008.