Allahabad High Court: In a writ challenging the order passed by the General Manager (Administration) of the Bank, wherein the claim of a daughter for compassionate appointment was rejected as only unmarried daughter is eligible for being offered compassionate appointment, division bench of Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Om Prakash Shukla, JJ. struck down the word “unmarried” occurring in the note appended to Regulation 104 of U.P. Cooperative Societies Employees’ Service Regulations, 1975 (‘Regulations 1975’) and also, quashed the impugned order.
In the case at hand, the petitioner’s father was employed as Assistant Branch Accountant with the Bank, who unfortunately died in harness and accordingly the petitioner being his daughter made an application seeking compassionate appointment. However, the compassionate appointment has been denied solely on the ground that she is a married daughter of the deceased employee.
In terms of the provisions contained in Regulation 104 of the Regulations, 1975, it is only unmarried daughter who is eligible for being offered compassionate appointment and not the married daughter. The petitioner has also prayed for issuance of an appropriate writ striking down the word ‘unmarried’ occurring in Regulation 104 of Regulations 1975.
The Court noted that during pendency of the writ petition a proposal was made by Institutional Service Board to amend Regulation 104 of Regulations 1975, however, the said proposal has been turned down by the State Government.
Thew Court further noted that for governing the conditions of service of the employees of Cooperative Societies in the State of Uttar Pradesh, regulations have been framed by U.P. Cooperative Institutional Service Board in terms of the provisions contained in Section 122 of U.P. Cooperative Societies Act, 1965 (‘1965 Act’) which empowers the Board to frame regulations regulating the conditions of service, subject to approval of the State Government.
Further, Regulation 104 of Regulations, 1975 provides for recruitment of dependents of the deceased employees. A note is appended to said Regulation 104, according to which “family” includes the wife/husband, sons and unmarried or widowed daughters of the deceased employee.
The Court also noted that as far as the State Government employees are concerned, compassionate appointments are governed by statutory prescriptions available in the U.P. Recruitment of Dependants of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974 (‘Dying Harness Rules’) The said Rules have been framed under Article 309 of the Constitution of India and initially within the definition of the word “family”, these rules also did not include ‘unmarried daughters’.
However, the Court noted that in Vimla Srivastva v. State of Uttar Pradesh1, the Court struck down the word “unmarried” in Rule 2 (c)(iii) of the Dying in Harness Rules applicable to the State Government employees. The same ratio was followed in Neha Srivastava v. State of Uttar Pradesh2, which was challenged by the State Government before the Supreme Court by instituting a Special Leave Petition, which was dismissed by the Court. Thereafter, the State Government bought an amendment in the said Rules vide notification dated 12-11-2021. According to the said amendment, “family” now includes daughters irrespective of their marital status.
Thus, the Court said that there is no plausible reason why the proposal made by the Institutional Service Board for making amendment in the note appended to Regulation 104 of the Regulations 1975 could be turned down by the State Government.
Thus, while allowing the petition, the Court directed that the claim of the petitioner shall be considered for compassionate appointment treating her to be eligible for such claim, within a period of two months from the date of production of a certified copy of this order.
[Neelam Devi v. State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine All 415, Order dated 17-07-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Petitioner: Advocate Ajay Madhavan;
Counsel for Respondent: Advocate Gaurav Mehrotra, Advocate Prashasht Puri.
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1. Writ -C No. 60881 of 2015
2. Special Appeal (Defective) No. 863 of 2015