The Karnataka High Court has quashed an order of the Bengaluru Development Authority whereby appointment on compassionate ground was rejected on account of the applicant being born out of the second marriage of its deceased employee.
The Authority's order was based on a 2013 decision of the division bench of the High Court which had held that a child born out of a second marriage of a government servant or employee cannot seek employment on compassionate grounds.
Relying on the 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court in UOI v. V. R. Tripathi, the Single Judge of the High Court struck down the Authority's order, directing it to reconsider the application for appointment.
Before the top court, it was urged on behalf of the State that it is open to the State, as part of its policy of discouraging bigamy to restrict the benefit of compassionate appointment, only to the spouse and children of the first marriage and to deny it to the spouse of a subsequent marriage and the children.
However, in the said authority, the apex court has held, "salutary purpose underlying the grant of compassionate appointment, which is to prevent destitution and penury in the family of a deceased employee requires that any stipulation or condition which is imposed must have or bear a reasonable nexus to the object which is sought to be achieved...We are here concerned with the exclusion of children born from a second marriage. By excluding a class of beneficiaries who have been deemed legitimate by the operation of law, the condition imposed is disproportionate to the object sought to be achieved. Having regard to the purpose and object of a scheme of compassionate appointment, once the law has treated such children (born out of a second marriage which is void in law) as legitimate, it would be impermissible to exclude them from being considered for compassionate appointment"