Compassionate appointment of widow cannot be denied solely on grounds of not producing NOC from mother-in-law: High Court of Jharkhand

A government servant dying while in service makes one of his dependent family members eligible to take up employment with the deceased’s employers. Although a no objection certificate from other dependent family members is usually requested to initiate the process, not producing the certificate cannot be sole grounds to deny the deceased’s widow compassionate appointment. A single member bench of the High Court of Jharkhand consisting of Justice Dr. S.N. Pathak adjudged on this matter in the case of Mamoni Gorai v State of Jharkhand [W.P. (S) No. 2683 of 2020] on 8th June 2021.

The petitioner, Mamoni Gorai’s husband was appointed to the post of a Clerk in the Block Office at Seraikella. On 21st October 2017, the petitioner’s husband passed away due to illness and she was qualified to be appointed to the job on compassionate grounds and requested competent authorities for the same. However the sub-divisional officer passed an order dated 17th August 2020 which rejected her request for compassionate appointment on grounds that she failed to produce a NOC of her mother-in-law.  As a result of this, the petitioner requested the High Court to quash the sub-divisional officer’s order and grant her compassionate appointment on grounds of her husband’s death and her possessing all required qualifications. Additionally the petitioner also signed an affidavit promising to take care of her mother-in-law throughout her lifetime.

The court cited the case of Gita v Bharat Cooking Coal United and Others [2 JLJR 623 of 2015], where it was held that the NOC should not become a tool in the hands of the mother of the deceased to prevent his widow from gaining compassionate appointment despite the widow being qualified and having minor children dependant on her. Taking this judgment into consideration the court decided that it would be unjust to deny the appointment to the petitioner, especially since she even signed an affidavit promising to take care of her mother-in-law.

Justice Dr. S.N. Pathak can be quoted as saying “the respondents shall reconsider the case of the petitioner and pass a fresh order regarding compassionate appointment and issue appointment letter to her, within a further period of eight weeks as the petitioner fulfils all the requisite qualification and there is no any other legal impediment coming in the way of compassionate ground, with a condition that the petitioner shall take care of her mother-in-law throughout her life”.

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