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Candidate Expecting A Divorce Decree Can't Seek Reservation Under 'Divorcee Female' Category: Rajasthan High Court

ANIRUDH VIJAY
28 Jan 2022 7:21 AM GMT
Candidate Expecting A Divorce Decree Cant Seek Reservation Under Divorcee Female Category: Rajasthan High Court
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The Rajasthan High Court observed that there is nothing in law that permits a candidate to apply in the 'Divorcee Female' category in the expectancy that a divorce decree would be granted by the Court. A division bench of Justice Vinod Kumar Bharwani and Justice Sandeep Mehta, observed,"For a person, applying in the said category, the status of being divorced was imperative....

The Rajasthan High Court observed that there is nothing in law that permits a candidate to apply in the 'Divorcee Female' category in the expectancy that a divorce decree would be granted by the Court.

A division bench of Justice Vinod Kumar Bharwani and Justice Sandeep Mehta, observed,

"For a person, applying in the said category, the status of being divorced was imperative. There is nothing in law which can permit a candidate to apply in the said category in the expectancy that a decree would be granted".

The petitioner had filed a writ petition assailing the notice whereby her candidature was rejected as she did not possess the decree of divorce on the last date of submission of the online application form for the post of Stenographer Grade-III (Hindi and English) in the District Courts and the District Legal Services Authorities.

The court observed that the recruitment notification in question, in no uncertain terms, stipulated that the reservation was being offered to the "Divorcee Female" category.

Relying on the Apex Court decision of Ashok Kumar Sonkar vs. Union of India [(2007) 3 SCC 956], the court observed the petitioner was not a 'Divorced Female' as on the last date of submission of application forms and was not entitled to apply in the said category and as a consequence, the respondents were absolutely justified in rejecting her candidature in the category of Divorcee Female.

In Ashok Kumar Sonkar, the Apex Court was considering the aspect of the candidate not holding the requisite academic qualification by the last date of submission of the application forms. It was held that if the Rules and the recruitment notification are silent, the last date for considering the qualification would be the last date of submission of the application forms.

In the present matter, the petitioner was married to one Shri Vikash on 06.07.2018 and later took a customary divorce in Society Panchayat on 17.09.2018. An application under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act was filed on 12.07.2019  and the decree of divorce was passed on 13.08.2020.

As the application under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act had already been filed long before submitting the application form in the recruitment process, the petitioner applied in the category of Divorcee Female.

The final result was declared on 15.12.2021 wherein, a note was appended that the petitioner did not have the decree of divorce on the last date of submission of online application form i.e. 28.02.2020 and thus, she was not being considered in Divorcee Female category. Being aggrieved, the present writ has been preferred.

Adv. Rakesh Arora, representing the petitioner, argued that respondents were totally unjustified in turning down the petitioner's candidature in the Divorcee Female category as she was already having a customary divorce agreement.

He further contended that as the application for divorce by mutual consent under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act had also been filed well before issuance of the recruitment notification but could not be decided because of the prevailing COVID pandemic and hence, the petitioner ought to have been given appointment in the Divorcee Female category as per her merit.

The Court dismissed the petition as being devoid of merit.

Case Title: Parul Khurana v. The High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan & Anr.

Case No: D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 1004/2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Raj) 37

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