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Depriving Married Daughter From Right Of Consideration For Compassionate Appointment Violates Articles 14 To 16: Rajasthan High Court

In the case of Priyanka Shrimali v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. Civil (Writ Petition No. 14345/2021), a 3-judge bench of the Rajasthan High Court including Justices Sandeep Mehta, Vijay Bishnoi, and Arun Bhansali observed that the use of the word ‘unmarried’ in Rule 2(c) of the Rajasthan Compassionate Appointment of Dependents of Deceased Government Servant Rules, 1996 depriving a married daughter from right of consideration for compassionate appointment, violates the equality clause and cannot be countenanced.

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The petitioner is a married daughter of the deceased Government employee, who died in harness. A request for grant of compassionate appointment has been rejected on the ground that the married daughter is not included in the definition of term ‘dependents’ under the scheme for grant of compassionate appointment. The petitioner has therefore challenged the validity of Rule 2(c)of the Rajasthan Compassionate Appointment of Dependents of Deceased Government Servant Rules. According to the petitioner, exclusion of a married daughter when a married son is included, from the purview of consideration for grant of compassionate appointment is arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution.

The said rule had come up for consideration before the Division Bench of this Court in the case of Smt. Sumer Kanwar vs. State of Rajasthan and Ors. [2012(1) WLC (Raj.) 99], wherein the validity of the rule was upheld.  

JUDGEMENT:

It can thus be seen that the consistent view expressed by various High Courts through Single Bench, Division Bench and Full Bench has been that the rule or proviso under the scheme which excludes a married daughter while including a married son within the definition of ‘dependent’ of deceased government servant, is discriminatory and violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. We may also note that the State of Rajasthan itself has now amended the rule in question and has specifically included a married daughter within the definition of the term ‘dependent’.” The High Court opined that the marriage by itself cannot be a disqualification and, therefore, the definition barring a married daughter from seeking compassionate appointment merely on the ground of her marriage is apparently arbitrary and violative of Articles 14, 15 and 16(2) of the Constitution of India.

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Judgment reviewed by Anagha K Bharadwaj

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