HC Slams Odisha Govt’s ‘Retrograde Step’ Of Denying ‘Married’ Daughter Compassionate Appointment

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has ruled that disqualifying a ‘married’ daughter and excluding her from consideration for compassionate appointment in government jobs is arbitrary and violates fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, and 16(2) of the Constitution of India.

The HC also described it as a retrograde step of the Odisha government as welfare state.

“The yardstick for extending the benefit of compassionate appointment should be dependency of the dependents on the deceased government servant and the marital status of dependent should not be an impediment for his/her consideration on compassionate ground to provide support to suffering family on account of loss of an earning member in the family,” the single judge bench of Justice SK Panigrahi said.

Seemarani Pandab had moved the court after the authorities rejected her application for appointment under the Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme against her deceased father, citing an August 30, 2010 government circular which prohibits married daughters from availing the benefit of such recruitment on compassionate grounds.

Her father had died while in service as PET in CRS High School at Tihidi in Bhadrak district.

“A daughter after her marriage doesn’t cease to be daughter of the father or mother and obliged to maintain their parents and daughter cannot be allowed to escape her responsibility on the ground that she is now married, therefore, such a policy of the State Government disqualifying, a ‘married’ daughter and excluding her from consideration apart from being arbitrary and discriminating is a retrograde step of state government as welfare State, on which stamp of approval cannot be made by this court,” Justice Panigrahi further said.

The HC the directed the government to appoint the married woman in the post, for which she is entitled to. “Since about eleven years have passed when the applicant applied for appointment under Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme and many years have been spent in litigation, in the interest of justice and fair play, the age of the petitioner shall not be a factor to consider her for a suitable job,” the order added.

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