Himachal Pradesh Court, while granting a married daughter’s plea seeking compassionate appointment in her deceased father’s place, stated that – “the State cannot act in a misogynistic way’. The High Court observed that when the marital status of a son does not make any difference in the eyes of the law, then there is no reason for the marital status of a daughter to make any difference in her eligibility. Even after marriage, daughters continue to be daughters; they don’t cease to be daughters. Therefore, if a married son has the right to a compassionate appointment, then a married daughter also stands on the same footing. The exclusion of daughters does not satisfy any plausible basis or logic, and hence her exclusion is not justifiable.
The order was passed by the High Court in the writ petition filed by Mamta Devi, seeking companionate appointment in place of her deceased father. Petitioner’s father was a Class IV employee in the office of District Ayurvedic Office. It was observed that since no other member from the deceased’s family opted for an appointment under this scheme, she has applied for the appointment on compassionate grounds. This application was rejected, stating that there is no provision in the Policy for grant of employment assistance to ‘married daughters.’ While examining the subject matter of the case, the High Court stated that the prime objective behind implementation rules for appointment under companionate grounds is not only social welfare but also to support the family of the deceased government servant. If the married daughters are excluded from reaping the benefits under this scheme, then the real purpose of social welfare cannot be achieved. The exclusion is also against the spirit of Article 15 of the Constitution of India.
Conversely, the Additional Advocate General had argued that the Policy does not discriminate against married daughters and the rationale behind denying the appointment was that married daughters are no more dependent on the deceased father. The financial dependency of female shifts from her parents to her husband and his family. However, the High Court, by applying the test of ‘dependency,’ observed that the applicant was dependent on her father before his demise. And therefore, the concerned authority was directed to take a ‘generous’ view and give compassionate employment to the Petitioner.