THE ALLAHABAD High Court has directed the Principal Secretary (Law) to take necessary steps within four months so that a “divorced daughter” can be included in the definition of “family” with respect to the rules regarding compassionate appointments in the event of death of a government employee while on duty.
As of now, only “unmarried daughters” and “widowed daughters” are included in the definition of “family” insofar as compassionate appointment is concerned.
A single-judge bench of Justice B Amit Sthalekar passed the order in this regard on November 18 while hearing a petition filed by one Roobi Mansoori whose father, a class IV employee in the Sales Tax Department and posted in Allahabad, had passed away in 2012.
When Mansoori applied for employment on compassionate grounds, she was turned down by the department, which cited rule 2(c)III of the Uttar Pradesh Rules of Dependents of Government Servant (Dying-in-Harness) Rules, 1974 to reject her application. The said rule, her counsel Shivam Yadav informed, includes only unmarried and widowed daughters, and not those divorced.
The court took note of the petitioner’s submission that if a widowed daughter, who continues to belong to the family of her in-laws, has been included as a member of the family of the deceased, then why not a divorced daughter be considered a member of the family of the deceased government servant (the father, in this case). If she is refused, the petitioner argued, then she would have no place to go to at all.
The court also rejected the contention of the state government that, under the rules, a divorced daughter could not be considered for compassionate appointment. It, however, admitted that there was a “lacuna” in the rules.
“The submission of the State appears to be quite wrath and incongruous with the Rule granting compassionate appointment. If the benefit… can be given to an unmarried and widowed daughter, there appears to be absolutely no reason as to why the same benefit cannot be extended to a divorced daughter,” the court said, and added, “No doubt there is a serious lacuna in the Rules itself… the matter requires consideration by the State government.”
The court then disposed of the writ petition while directing the Principal Secretary (Law) to take necessary steps in the matter in consultation with the state government within four months. The court also declared that the Principal Secretary be included as a respondent in the case.