‘Divorced’ Daughter Cannot be Treated at Par With ‘Widowed’ or ‘Unmarried’ Daughter: Supreme Court

By – Rhytham Jain

In the recent case of Director of Treasuries in Karnataka vs. V. Somya Shree, the honorable supreme court of India set aside a Karnataka High court Judgment which held that a divorced daughter would fall in the same category as an unmarried or widow daughter for the purpose of Karnataka civil services rules, 1996. The 2-judge bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose repeated that the set of rules which is prevailing on the date of consideration of any application/letter should be the basis of consideration of the claim for compassionate appointment. 

In this case, the petitioner’s mother was employed with the Government of Karnataka as a second-class Assistant in the Mandya District treasury of Karnataka. After she passed away the petitioner applied for his appointment in the place of her mother. This application of the petitioner was rejected on the ground that in the Rule of Karnataka Civil services Rules 1996, there is no such provision for any the divorced daughter. Later the High court of Karnataka was directed to consider the application. The high court considered that a divorced daughter would also fall into the same category of unmarried and widow daughters.

Referring to the rules the supreme court held that only Unmarried daughters and widows who were dependent on the deceased government servant mother at the time of her death can only be said to be eligible for the appointment on such post.  The court also noticed that the petitioner had immediately applied or filled the divorce petition after the death of her mother in accordance with section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage act 1995 with mutual consent. This can be predicted from such circumstances that to acquire the position in the government field she filled the divorce petition. The marriage was subsisting on the date of that female government employee’s death. So the supreme court held that if we consider the divorced daughter under the rules of Karnataka civil services rules she will not fit into that category as she was not divorced on the date of her mother’s death, who was a government employee. Therefore, she is not eligible for the post of her mother and set aside the judgment of the Karnataka high court.       

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