Referred to Larger Bench XXIII: Consequential Benefits of Gopal Prasad

Gopal Prasad was appointed as Calligraphist-cum-Assistant of the Bihar School Examination Board on 20.05.1970, at about 15½ years of age. He may have been a minor, but certainly not a toddler. It is absurd that any rational employer, far less a statutory body, would appoint a toddler. The hypothesis of appointment of a toddler is far-fetched and unrealistic.

An employer who knowingly appoints minors with impunity, with its eyes open, cannot evade its obligations under the contract of employment, and that too after the employee has rendered service for almost two decades after attaining majority. It cannot also be said, an employee, appointed when he was 15½ years old, attained any undue advantage when there was no minimum age for appointment at the material time. The contracts can be said to have been ratified by the employees concerned.

It is nobody’s case that the date of birth of Gopal Prasad, that is 19.11.1954, is not his correct date of birth. He was entitled to continue in service till 18.11.2014, the date on which he completed 60 years of age, and shall be entitled to all consequential benefits.

I have unfortunately not been able to agree with Hon’ble Justice Ajay Rastogi.

Hon’ble Justice Indira Banerjee, Gopal Prasad v. Bihar School Examination Board, [Civil Appeal No. 8225 of 2012].