22 Nov 2022 8:16 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has made it clear that an adopted child can seek compassionate appointment following the death of his/her adoptive parent who took care of the family.A division bench of Justices Suraj Govindaraj and G Basavaraja observed, "A son is a son or a daughter is a daughter, adopted or otherwise, if such a distinction is accepted then there would be no purpose served...
The Karnataka High Court has made it clear that an adopted child can seek compassionate appointment following the death of his/her adoptive parent who took care of the family.
A division bench of Justices Suraj Govindaraj and G Basavaraja observed,
"A son is a son or a daughter is a daughter, adopted or otherwise, if such a distinction is accepted then there would be no purpose served by adoption."
The Court was hearing a writ appeal preferred by an adopted son whose application for compassionate employment, following the demise of his adoptive father who was working as Class-IV employee in the office of Assistant Public Prosecutor, was rejected.
The Appellant was adopted in 2011 after Vinayak Muttatti's natural son died in a road accident. Muttatti himself passed away in 2018. The application for compassionate appointment was dismissed on the ground that the appellant was "adopted". A writ petition challenging this order was dismissed by a single bench of the High Court on the ground that the Karnataka Civil Service (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules, 1996 (as applicable on date of Appellant's application) do not provide for an adopted son to be considered for compassionate appointment.
While deciding the appeal, the division bench noted that Muttatti left behind his wife, the adopted son and his natural daughter who is mentally retarded and physically handicapped. It observed,
"The appointing authority would have to consider the application of compassionate appointment if indeed there is financial stringency or difficulty requiring compassionate appointment...In the present case, the daughter being a natural daughter, would have been entitled to a compassionate appointment if not for her being mentally retarded as also physically handicapped. In such a situation, it is the adopted son who was so adopted by the deceased to take care of the family on account of the death of a natural-born son who has applied for a compassionate appointment."
It rejected Respondent's contention that the 1996 Rules do not provide for consideration of adopted son for compassionate appointment. Rather, it noted that the Rules were amended in 2021 to the effect that adopted son would have to be treated equally to that of a natural son while considering an application for compassionate appointment.
The High Court ruled though the amendment was introduced subsequent to Appellant's application, its benefit could not be denied to him. It held,
"The distinction made between the adopted son and a natural son by respondent Nos.2 and 4 either on the basis of the existing Rules in our considered opinion would not have any impact or role to play in the matter... taking into account that the same would violate Article 14 of the constitution, the said Rules have been amended so as to do away the artificial distinction."
It therefore directed the authorities to consider Appellant application within 12 weeks, as if he is a natural born son of the deceased.
Case Title: GIRISH S/O VINAYAK KMUTTATTI v. STATE OF KARNATAKA & Others
Case No: WRIT APPEAL NO. 100362 OF 2022
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 473
Date of Order: 4TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2022
Appearance: SHRAVAN MADHAV K.P., ADVOCATE A/w DHANYA K.S, ADVOCATE for appellants; PRAVEEN UPPAR, HCGP for respondent.
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