The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a deceased government employee's daughter who got divorced after the death of the staff would not be entitled to a compassionate appointment.
The Supreme Court set aside a Karnataka High Court judgment that held that a divorced daughter would fall in the same class of an unmarried or widowed daughter for the purpose of Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules, 1996.
The bench of Justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose reiterated that norms prevailing on the date of consideration of the application should be the basis of consideration of claim for compassionate appointment.
In this case, the writ petitioner's mother was employed with the Government of Karnataka as Second Division Assistant at Mandya District Treasury. After she died, the writ petitioner filed an application for appointment on compassionate appointment. That was rejected on the ground that there is no provision provided under Rule 3(2)(ii) of Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules 1996 for divorced daughter. Later, the Karnataka High Court directed to consider the application.The High Court interpreted Rule 3 and observed that a divorced daughter would fall in the same class of an unmarried or widowed daughter and therefore, a divorced daughter has to be considered on par with 'unmarried' or 'widowed daughter'.
The top court said Rule 2 and Rule 3 of Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules 1996 do not include ''divorced daughter'' as eligible for appointment on compassionate ground and even as ''dependent''.
The bench said the word ''divorced daughter'' has been added subsequently by Amendment, 2021.
In this case, the court noted when the employee died on March 25, 2012, petitioner was her married daughter and her marriage was subsisting. Immediately on the death of the deceased employee, the respondent initiated the divorced proceedings under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on September 12, 2012 for decree of divorce by mutual consent, the bench noted.
Therefore, at the relevant time when the deceased employee died and when the original writ petitioner – respondent herein made an application for appointment on compassionate ground the ''divorced daughter'' were not eligible for appointment on compassionate ground and the ''divorced daughter'' was not within the definition of ''dependent,"