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Horoscope' Invalid

New Delhi, March 15: Horoscope is not a reliable proof of date of birth and can be considered only in the absence of any other document, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A division bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and S.H. Kapadia yesterday held that a person's date of birth entered in the horoscope 'can never be given primacy over the date of birth mentioned in his school leaving certificate'.

'Horoscope is a very weak material to prove the age of a person,' the bench said, allowing Punjab government's appeal against a high court order in favour of a person who had cited his horoscope as proof of date of birth.

The government had retired him on the ground that he was born two years earlier than he claimed. He contested the move, armed with the date of birth on his horoscope. The high court ruled in his favour.

But the Supreme Court observed that in most cases, horoscope-makers might not be available to prove it was drawn up immediately after birth.

The statement contained in the school admission register based on information supplied by the father, guardian or close relative was more authentic evidence, the court said, unless it was established by unimpeachable contrary material that this date of birth was inherently improbable.

'School records have more probative value than a horoscope. Where no other material is available, the horoscope may be considered, but subject to its authenticity being established,' said Justice Pasayat, writing the judgment.

'Horoscopes cannot be reliable because it can be prepared at any time to suit the needs of a particular situation. Entries in the school register and admission form regarding date of birth constitute good proof of age.'

The court also said oral evidence could 'hardly be useful' to determine the correct age of a person. Valid documents, like school records or the secondary school leaving certificate, were required.

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