In an important judgement, the Chhattisgarh high court has ruled that a married daughter is equally entitled to a government job on compassionate grounds on her father's demise.
Justice Sanjay K Agrawal made the observation on Tuesday while hearing a petition filed by Sarojani Bhoi (28) who had challenged the state government on the ground that she was not given the job of her father who passed away in 2011.
The HC cited that "policy of compassionate appointment excluding married daughters for consideration is a retrograde policy of the welfare state, and violative of Article 16 (2) (no discrimination on grounds of religion, caste, sex etc) of the Constitution."
Father of Sarojani, Jaldev Pradhan who was working as Amin Patwari in the water resources department of the state's Mahasamund district, died on January 6, 2011.
He left behind his wife Hemkanti and two married daughters Sarojani and Sanyukta, he said.
The petitioner made an application for compassionate appointment pleading that after the death of her father she is maintaining her family including her mother as she has no other source of income.
The state government had rejected her application holding that as per clause 3 (1)(c) of the policy dated 10/06/2003, the married daughter of the deceased government servant is not entitled to compassionate appointment.
Thereafter, Sarojani filed the writ petition challenging the legality and validity of the clause,
Contending that the state policy is "unconstitutional" Sarojani said a married daughter holds equal rights as that of a married son to get her deceased father's government job.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Justice Agrawal observed that prohibiting the consideration of the married daughter from seeking compassionate appointment merely on the ground of marriage is plainly arbitrary and violative of constitutional guarantee envisaged in Article 14, (equality before law) 15 (no discrmination on grounds of religion, caste and sex etc) and 16 (2) of the Constitution of India, he said.
The state government's policy of 2003 in this regard was "void and inoperative", the court observed and ordered the state government to reconsider the claim of the petitioner within 45 days.