September 30, 2022

Decoding the Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969

OBJECT AND PURPOSE

This act regulates the registration of birth and deaths in India. For this purpose, it establishes the authorities for the registration and also provides that in case of birth and death who can go for registration.

IMPORTANT DEFINTIONS

In this act,

  • BIRTH” means live birth and still birth. Live birth means absence of all evidence of life prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception irrespective of the duration of pregnancy. which, after such expulsion or extraction, breathes or show any other evidence of life, and each product of such birth is considered live-born.

Still birth means foetal death where a product of conception has attained at least the prescribed period of gestation. A foetal death means absence of all evidence of life prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception irrespective of the duration of pregnancy.

  • DEATH” means the permanent disappearance of all evidence of life at any time after live birth has taken place.

REGISTRATION

REGISTRAR-GENERAL OF INDIA

The central Government has power to appoint Registrar General of India. The Registrar-General may issue general directions regarding registration of births and deaths in the territories to which this Act extends, and shall take steps to co-ordinate and unify the activities of Chief Registrars in the matter of registration of births and deaths and submit to the Central Government an annual report on the working of this Act in the said territories.

CHIEF REGISTRAR

In states, state government has the power to appoint Chief Registrar. The Chief Registrar shall take steps, by the issue of suitable instructions or otherwise, to co-ordinate, unity and supervise the work of registration in the State for securing an efficient system of registration and shall prepare a report on the working of this act in the state, and submit to the State Government.

REGISTRATION DEVISIONS

The state government may divide the state territory registration division and prescribe different rules for different registration divisions.

DISTRICT REGISTRAR (SEC 6)

The state Government may appoint a District Registrar for each revenue district and also appoint additional district registrars to discharge functions under the general control and direction of District Registrar.

The District Registrar shall superintend, subject to the direction of the Chief Registrar, the registration of births and deaths in the district and shall be responsible for carrying into execution in the district the provisions of this Act and the orders of the Chief Registrar issued from time to time for the purposes of this Act.

REGISTRARS (SEC 7)

The State Government may appoint a Registrar for each local area comprising the area within the jurisdiction of a municipality, panchayat or other local authority or any other area or a combination of any two or more of them.

Every Registrar shall, without fee or reward, enter in the register maintained for the purpose all information given to him related to births and deaths and shall also take steps to inform himself carefully of every birth and of every death which takes place in his jurisdiction and to ascertain and register the particulars required to be registered.

The Registrar may, with the prior approval of the Chief Registrar, appoint Sub-Registrars and assign to them any or all of his powers and duties in relation to specified areas within his jurisdiction

REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS

PERSONS REQUIRED TO REGISTER BIRTHS AND DEATHS

It shall be the duty of following persons to give, either orally or in writing, according to the best of their knowledge and belief, information to the Registrar-

  • If birth and death taken place in a residential or non-residential house, the head of the house or if there are more than one household live in the house the head of the household.

The head being the person, who is so recognised by the house or the household, and if he is not present in the house at any time during the period within which the birth or death has to be reported, the nearest relative of the head present in the house, and in the absence of any such person, the oldest adult male person present therein;

  •  In respect of births and deaths in a hospital, health centre, maternity or nursing home or other like institution, the medical officer in charge or any person authorised by him in this behalf;
  • In respect of births and deaths in a jail, the jailor in charge;
  • In respect of births and deaths in a choultry, chattram, hostel, dharmasala, boarding-house, lodging-house, tavern, barrack, toddy shop or place of public resort, the person in charge thereof;
  • In respect of any new-born child or dead body found deserted in a public place, the headman or other corresponding officer of the village in the case of a village and the officer in charge of the local police station elsewhere.

The state government may change the requirement of persons in above categories for any period.

SPECIAL PROVISION REGARDING BIRTHS AND DEATHS IN A PLANTATION

In the case of births and deaths in a plantation, the superintendent of the plantation shall give or cause to be given to the Registrar the information related to deaths and births.

Plantation means any land not less than four hectares in extent which is being prepared for the production of, or actually produces, tea, coffee, pepper, rubber, cardamom, cinchona and “superintendent of the plantation” means the person having the charge or supervision of the labourers and work in the plantation, whether called a manager, superintendent or by any other name.

DUTY OF CERTAIN PERSONS TO NOTIFY BIRTHS AND DEATHS AND TO CERTIFY CAUSE OF DEATH

 It shall be the duty of—

  •  the midwife or any other medical or health attendant at a birth or death,
  • the keeper or the owner of a place set apart for the disposal of dead bodies or any person required by a local authority to be present at such place, or
  •  any other person whom the State Government may specify in this behalf by his designation, to notify every birth or death or both at which he or she attended or was present, or which occurred in such areas as may be prescribed, to the Registrar within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed.

PROCEDURE OF REGISTRATION

  • Every person who has orally given to the Registrar any information required under this Act shall write in the register maintained in this behalf, his name, description and place of abode, and, if he cannot write, shall put his thumb mark in the register against his name, description and place of abode, the particulars being in such a case entered by the Registrar.
  • The Registrar shall, as soon as the registration of a birth or death has been completed, give, free of charge, to the person, extract of the prescribed particulars under his hand from the register relating to such birth or death.
  • Any birth or death of which information is given to the Registrar after the expiry of the period specified therefor, but within thirty days of its occurrence, shall be registered on payment of such late fee as may be prescribed.
  • Any birth or death of which delayed information is given to the Registrar after thirty days but within one year of its occurrence shall be registered only with the written permission of the prescribed authority and on payment of the prescribed fee and the production of an affidavit made before a notary public or any other officer authorised in this behalf by the State Government.
  • Any birth or death which has not been registered within one year of its occurrence, shall be registered only on an order made by a magistrate of the first class or a Presidency Magistrate after varifying the correctness of the birth or death and on payment of the prescribed fee.
  • Where the birth of any child has been registered without a name, the parent or guardian of such child shall within the prescribed period give information regarding the name of the child to the Registrar either orally or in writing and thereupon the Registrar shall enter such name in the register and initial and date the entry.
  • If it is proved to the satisfaction of the Registrar that any entry of a birth or death in any register kept by him under this Act is erroneous in form or substance, or has been fraudulently or improperly made, he may correct the error or cancel the entry by suitable entry in the margin, without any alteration of the original entry, and shall sign the marginal entry and add thereto the date of the correction or cancellation.

MAINTENANCE OF RECORDS AND STATISTICS

REGISTRARS TO KEEP REGISTERS IN THE PRESCRIBED FORM

  • Every Registrar shall keep in the prescribed form a register of births and deaths for the registration area or any part thereof in relation to which he exercises jurisdiction.
  • The Chief Registrar shall cause to be printed and supplied a sufficient number of register books for making entries of births and deaths according to such forms and instructions as may, from time to time, be prescribed; and a copy of such forms in the local language shall be posted in some conspicuous place on or near the outer door of the office of every Registrar.

SEARCH OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTER

Any person may—

  • cause a search to be made by the Registrar for any entry in a register of births and deaths; and
  • obtain an extract from such register relating to any birth or death.

However, no extract relating to any death, issued to any person, shall disclose the particulars regarding the cause of death as entered in the register.

 All extracts given under this section shall be certified by the Registrar or any other officer authorised by the State Government to give such extracts as provided in section 76 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, and shall be admissible in evidence for the purpose of proving the birth or death to which the entry relates.

INSPECTION OF REGISTRATION OFFICES

The registration offices shall be inspected and the registers kept therein shall be examined in such manner and by such authority as may be specified by the District Registrar.

REGISTRARS TO SEND PERIODICAL RETURNS TO THE CHIEF REGISTRAR FOR COMPILATION.

  • Every Registrar shall send to the Chief Registrar or to any officer specified by him, at such intervals and in such form as may be prescribed, a return regarding the entries of births and deaths in the register kept by such Registrar.
  • The Chief Registrar shall cause the information in the returns furnished by the Registrars to be compiled and shall publish for the information of the public a statistical report on the registered births and deaths during the year at such intervals and in such form as may be prescribed.

SPECIAL PROVISION AS TO REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS OF CITIZENS OUTSIDE INDIA

The Registrar-General shall, subject to such rules as may be made by the Central Government in this behalf, cause to be registered information as to births and deaths of citizens of India outside India received by him under the rules relating to the registration of such citizens at Indian Consulates made under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and every such registration shall also be deemed to have been duly made under this Act.

In the case of any child born outside India in respect of whom information has not been received, if the parents of the child return to India with a view to settling therein, they may, at any time within sixty days from the date of the arrival of the child in India, get the birth of the child registered under this Act in the same manner as if the child was born in India.

POWER OF REGISTRAR TO OBTAIN INFORMATION REGARDING BIRTH OR DEATH

The Registrar may either orally or in writing require any person to furnish any information within his knowledge in connection with a birth or death in the locality within which such person resides and that person shall be bound to comply with such requisition.

PENALTIES

Any person who—

  •  fails without reasonable cause to give any information which it is his duty to give; or
  •  gives or causes to be given, for the purpose of being inserted in any register of births and deaths, any information which he knows or believes to be false regarding any of the particulars required to be known and registered; or
  • refuses to write his name, description and place of abode or to put his thumb mark in the register,

shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

 Any Registrar or Sub-Registrar who neglects or refuses, without reasonable cause, to register any birth or death occurring in his jurisdiction or to submit any returns shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

Any medical practitioner who neglects or refuses to issue a certificate and any person who neglects or refuses to deliver such certificate shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.

Any person who, without reasonable cause, contravenes any provision of this Act for the contravention of which no penalty is provided for in this section shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten rupees.

POWER TO COMPOUND OFFENCES

Chief Registrar may authorise any officer, either before or after the institution of criminal proceedings under this act, who has committed or is reasonable suspected of having committed an offence under this act, to accept a sum of money not exceeding fifty rupees by way of compounding such offence.

On the payment of such sum of money, such person shall be discharged and no further proceedings shall be taken against him in respect of such offence.

No prosecution for an offence punishable under this Act shall be instituted except by an officer authorised by the Chief Registrar.

No suit, prosecution or another legal proceeding shall lie against the Government, the Registrar-General, any Registrar, or any person exercising any power or performing any duty under this Act for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder.