Welcome to the official blog of the Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates, where we are dedicated to providing litigation support services for matters related to the Admissibility of Birth Certificates in Court. In today’s blog post, we aim to shed light on the prevailing issues surrounding the Admissibility of Birth Certificates in Court, the legal framework for their protection, and the steps we can take as a society to combat these acts. Join us as we explore this critical subject and empower you with the knowledge to protect your rights and safety.

The Registration of Births and Deaths Act of 1969 oversees the registration of births and deaths. This responsibility is shared between Parliament and state legislatures under the Concurrent List. In 2019, birth registration was at 93%, and death registration was at 92%. The Law Commission in 2018 recommended incorporating marriage registration into this Act.

The Registration of Births and Deaths (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aims to modify the 1969 Act and was presented in the Lok Sabha on July 26, 2023.

Key Bill Features: The Bill compels the Registrar General to oversee a nationwide Birth and Death Database shared at the state level, introduces electronic certificates, mandates Aadhaar details for specific cases during birth registrations, enables government-approved database sharing, mandates birth and death certificates for various purposes for individuals born after the Bill’s enactment, and sets up an appeal process for grievances against Registrar or District Registrar actions.

Considerations: The Bill’s birth certificate mandate may impact constitutional rights, including the right to education and voting, Aadhaar linking raises privacy concerns, database linking may conflict with privacy principles, relying solely on birth certificates for age determination could pose potential issues, and the strict requirements may disadvantage vulnerable children’s access to education and government services

Admissibility under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872: The admissibility of evidence is pivotal in court outcomes, and birth certificates serve as crucial documentary evidence, essential for matters like age verification, citizenship, and inheritance disputes. The Indian Evidence Act of 1872 establishes the framework for evidence admissibility, categorizing birth certificates as “public documents”.

Section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872: Section 35 of the Indian Evidence Act deals with the admissibility of public documents, including birth certificates. According to this section, statements contained in a public document are considered relevant facts. These statements can be admitted as evidence under the following conditions:

  1. Certified Copies: Certified copies of public documents, including birth certificates, are admissible as secondary evidence in court. These copies are provided by government authorities and are accepted as true and accurate records of the original document.
  2. Official Custodian: The Act specifies that public documents can be proved by the production of a copy certified by the officer who has custody of the original document. In the case of birth certificates, this would typically be the Registrar of Births and Deaths.

Sections 61 & 62: Proof of Contents of Documents: Sections 61 to 64 of the Evidence Act address the rules for proving the contents of documents when they are presented in court as evidence. These sections provide a framework for proving the contents of documents, which include birth certificates.

  • Section 61 pertains to the proof of the contents of documents by primary evidence. In the context of birth certificates, primary evidence would be the original certificate or a copy of it that is duly certified by the issuing authority. This primary evidence carries significant weight and is usually preferred by the court.
  • Section 62 deals with the proof of the contents of documents by secondary evidence. When the original birth certificate is not available, a certified copy is often considered secondary evidence. It should be noted that the court may require a proper justification for the unavailability of the primary evidence, i.e., the original certificate.

Section 78 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872: Section 78 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, allows for the presumption of genuineness of a certified copy of a public document. This means that courts generally assume that the information contained in a certified copy of a birth certificate is accurate and reliable unless proven otherwise.

Section 81 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872: Section 81 specifies that when there is a question about the existence of any document mentioned in the Act, the court shall presume that the document exists if it is of a kind that is usually in the custody of the person with whom it would naturally be, such as birth certificates held by the Registrar of Births and Deaths.

Case Laws :

This section provides insights into noteworthy legal cases that highlight the significance of birth certificates in court proceedings, underscoring the principles outlined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

  1. Sunita Sawhney vs Union Of India & Ors (2015): This case dealt with correcting a passport’s birthdate based on a birth certificate, emphasizing the requirement for birth certificates for passport-related matters.
  2. Fathima Richelle Mather v. The Registrar Of Births & Deaths: This Karnataka High Court ruling emphasized the importance of not denying a person’s name on their birth certificate if their identity and parentage are clear.
  3. Surender vs State Of Haryana (2011): This case discussed the primacy of birth certificates as primary, admissible evidence under the Indian Evidence Act, resolving a dispute related to age determination.
  4. Ashwani Kumar Mishra, Syed Aftab Rizvi:
    • The State is appealing the judgment of acquittal dated 30.08.2022 in the case involving Monu @ Mohit Saini, who was charged under Sections 363, 366, 376 IPC, Sections 3/4 of the POCSO Act, and Sections 3(2)(V), 3(2)(Va) S.C./S.T. Act, which arose from Case Crime No. 02 of 2021 at Police Station Kanth, District Moradabad in Sessions Trial No. 229 of 2021.
    • The prosecution’s case is based on an informant’s report from 06.01.2021, stating that the accused enticed his sixteen-year-old daughter on the same day. The charge sheet was filed based on this report, and the victim’s age was primarily established using her Aadhar Card, school records, and the informant’s testimony. The trial court raised questions about the victim’s age, as no evidence was provided for the basis of her date of birth in school records.
    • A recent Supreme Court judgment on 18.07.2023 (Criminal Appeal No. 1898 of 2023) dealt with the determination of a minor’s age. It emphasized that school date of birth certificates or matriculation certificates are preferable sources for age determination, with medical tests being a last resort. In this case, only a transfer certificate was considered, which did not meet the criteria specified by the Juvenile Justice Act.


Birth certificates are invaluable documents in the legal landscape. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, recognizes the importance of public documents, including birth certificates, as reliable and admissible evidence in court. They play a vital role in age verification, establishing citizenship, resolving inheritance disputes, and many other legal matters. As long as these documents are duly certified and maintained, they serve as a pillar of evidence, helping ensure justice and fair resolution in the Indian legal system.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services for matters related to the Admissibility of Birth Certificates in Court (IEA 1872).

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