Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where a woman had sought compassionate appointment after her mother’s death in the year 2012, the bench of MR Shah* and Anirudhha Bose, JJ has held that the norms prevailing on the date of consideration of the application should be the basis of consideration of claim for compassionate appointment and since the word ‘divorced daughter’ has been added to Rule 3 of Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules 1996 subsequently by Amendment, 2021, the respondent was not entitled to compassionate appointment.

[Note: Rule 2[1] and Rule 3[2] of the Rules 1996 do not include ‘divorced daughter’ as eligible for appointment on compassionate ground and even as ‘dependent’. The same was added to Rule 3 recently by Amendment, 2021.]

However, as straightforward as the case might look, the facts had a very interesting story to tell.

  • The mother of the original writ petitioner, who was employed with the Government of Karnataka as Second Division Assistant at Mandya District Treasury, died on 25.03.2012. The respondent, at that time, was a married daughter.
  • Immediately on the death of the deceased employee, the respondent initiated the divorced proceedings under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 on 12.09.2012 for decree of divorce by mutual consent.
  • By Judgment dated 20.03.2013, the Learned Principal Civil Judge, Mandya granted the decree of divorce by mutual consent.
  • Immediately on the very next day i.e. on 21.03.2013, the respondent, on the basis of the decree of divorce by mutual consent applied for appointment on compassionate ground.

Taking note of the aforementioned chronology of dates and events, the Court opined that only for the purpose of getting appointment on compassionate ground the decree of divorce by mutual consent has been obtained. Otherwise, as a married daughter she was not entitled to the appointment on compassionate ground.

Interestingly, the High Court had directed the appointing authority to grant compassionate   appointment to the respondent after interpreting Rule 3 of the Rules, 1996 by putting “divorced daughter” in the same class of an unmarried or widowed daughter.

The said judgment was, however, erroneous as per the ruling in N.C. Santhosh v. State of Karnataka, (2020) 7 SCC 617, wherein it was held that

(i) the compassionate appointment is an exception to the general rule;

(ii) no aspirant has a right to compassionate appointment;

(iii) the appointment to any public post in the service of the State has to be made on the basis of the principle in accordance with Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution of India;

(iv) appointment on compassionate ground can be made only on fulfilling the norms laid down by the State’s policy and/or satisfaction of the eligibility criteria as per the policy;

(v) the norms prevailing on the date of the consideration of the application should be the basis for consideration of claim for compassionate appointment.

Taking note of point number (v), the Court said that,

“… only ‘unmarried daughter’ and ‘widowed daughter’ who were dependent upon the deceased female Government servant at the time of her death and living with her can be said to be ‘dependent’ of a deceased Government servant and that ‘an unmarried daughter’ and ‘widowed daughter’ only can be said to be eligible for appointment on compassionate ground in the case of death of the female Government servant.”

Calling the High Court’s decision erroneous, the Court said that

“…even if it is assumed that the ‘divorced daughter’ may fall in the same class of ‘unmarried daughter’ and ‘widowed daughter’ in that case also the date on which the deceased employee died, the respondent herein was not the ‘divorced daughter’ as she obtained  the divorce by mutual consent subsequent to the death of the deceased employee.

Hence, the respondent shall not be eligible for the appointment on compassionate ground on the death of her mother and deceased employee.

[Director of Treasuries in Karnataka v. V. Somyashree, CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5122 OF 2021, decided on 13.09.2021]


[1] 2.   Definitions:­

(1)   In   these   rules, unless the context otherwise requires:­

(a) “Dependent   of   a   deceased   Government servant” means­

(i) in   the   case   of   deceased   male   Government servant, his widow, son, (unmarried daughter and widowed daughter) who were dependent upon him; and were living with him; and

(ii) in the case of a deceased female Government servant,   her   widower,   son,   (unmarried daughter   and   widowed   daughter)   who   were dependent upon her and were living with her;

(iii) ‘family’ in relation to a deceased Government servant means his or her spouse and their son,   (unmarried   daughter   and   widowed daughter) who were living with him.

(2)     Words   and   expressions   used   but   not defined shall have the same meaning assigned to   them   in   the   Karnataka   Civil   Services (General Recruitment) Rules, 1977.

[2] Rule 3(2)(ii):­

(ii)   in the case of the deceased female Government servant;

(a) a son;

(b) an   unmarried   daughter,   if   the   son   is   not eligible or for any valid reason he is not willing to accept the appointment;

(c) the widower, if the son and daughter are not eligible or for any valid reason they are not willing to accept the appointment.

(d) a widowed daughter, if the widower, son and unmarried daughter are not eligible or for any valid reason they are not willing to accept the appointment.


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah

Know Thy Judge | Justice M. R. Shah

Appearances before the Court by:

For State: Advocate V.N. Raghupathy

For Respondent: Advocate Mohd. Irshad Hanif

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for the appointment of the following Additional Judges of the Karnataka High Court as Permanent Judges of that High Court:

  1. Shri Justice Maralur Indrakumar Arun,
  2. Shri Justice Engalaguppe Seetharamaiah Indiresh,
  3. Shri Justice Ravi Venkappa Hosmani,
  4. Shri Justice Savanur Vishwajith Shetty
  5. Shri Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar,
  6. Smt. Justice M. Ganeshaiah Uma,
  7. Shri Justice Vedavyasachar Srishananda,
  8. Shri Justice Hanchate Sanjeevkumar,
  9. Shri Justice Padmaraj Nemachandra Desai, and
  10.  Shri Justice P. Krishna Bhat.

Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Resolution Statement dt. 

Appointments & TransfersNews

Supreme Court Collegium has approved the proposal for appointment of the following Additional Judges of the Kerala High Court as Permanent Judges of that High Court:

1. Smt. Justice M.R. Anitha, and

2. Shri Justice K. Nair Haripal.


Supreme Court of India

[Collegium Statement dt. 7-09-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal for the appointment of the following persons to the posts of Judicial and Technical Members in the National Company Law Tribunal for a period of 5 years from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or till attaining the age of 65 years or until further order, whichever is the earliest:

Judicial Member:

  • Justice Telaprolu Rajani, Judge, Andhra Pradesh High Court
  • Justice Pradeep Narhari Deshmukh, Retd. Judge, Bombay High Court
  • Justice S. Ramathilagam, Retd. Judge, Madras High Court
  • Dharminder Singh, Presiding Officer, DRT-3, Delhi
  • Harnam Singh Thakur, Retd. Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court
  • P. Mohan Raj, Retd. District Court Judge, Principal District Court, Salem, Tamil Nadu
  • Rohit Kapoor, Advocate
  • Deep Chandra Joshi, District Court Judge

Technical Member

  • Ajai Das Mehrotra, IRS, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax
  • Balraj Joshi, Retd. CMD, NHPC
  • Rahul Prasad Bhatnaga, IAS (UP:83_, Retd. Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj
  • Subrata Kumar Dash, IRS, Retd. Principal Director General of Income Tax
  • Avinash K Srivastava, IAS (UP:82), Retd. Secretary, Department of Consumer of Affairs
  • Shree Prakash Singh, Retd. Chief General Manager, SBI
  • Sameer Kakar, Chartered Accountant
  • Manoj Kumar Dubey, IRS, Retd. Director-General of Income Tax
  • Kaushalendra Kumar Singh, IR, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax
  • Anuradha Sanjay Bhatia, IRS, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

[DT. 11-09-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Additional Judges as Permanent Judges 


President appoints S/Shri Justices:

(l) Neranahalli Srinivasan Sanjay Gowda

(2) Miss Jyoti Mulimani

(3) Rangaswamy Nataraj

(4) Hemant Chandangoudar

(5) Pradeep Singh Yerur and

(6) Maheshan Nagaprasanna,

Additional Judges of the Karnataka High Court, to be Judges of the Karnataka High Court with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 6-09-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Permanent Judge


President appoints Justice Kausik Chanda, Additional Judge of the Calcutta High Court, to be a Judge of the Calcutta High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 3-09-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Acting Chief Justice


President appoints Justice Vineet Kothari, senior-most Judge of Gujarat High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date Justice Vikram Nath relinquishes the charge as Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court consequent upon his appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court of India and Justice Rashmin Manharbhai Chhaya, senior-most Judge of Gujarat High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court with effect from 02nd September 2021 consequent upon the retirement of Shri Justice Vineet Kothari.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 27-08-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Acting Chief Justice


President appoints Justice Mamidanna Satya Ratna Sri Ramachandra Rao, senior-most Judge of Telangana High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of that High Court with effect from the date Kumari Justice Hima Kohli relinquishes the charge as Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court consequent upon her appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court of India.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 27-8-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of a Judge to Madhya Pradesh High Court


President appoints Shri Pranay Verma to be a Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 26-8-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Additional Judges


President appoints (1) Miss Kesang Doma Bhutia, S/Shri (2) Rabindranath Samanta, (3) Sugato Majumdar, (4) Bivas Pattanayak, and (5) Ananda Kumar Mukherjee, to be AdditionalJudges of the Calcutta High Court, in that order of seniority.

Tenure

The appointment of S/Shri (1) Sugato Majumdar, and (2) Bivas Pattanayak as Additional Judges of Calcutta High Court would be for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their respective offices. However, the period of appointment of (1) Miss Kesang Doma Bhutia, S/Shri (2) Rabindranath Samanta, and (3) Ananda Kumar Mukherjee, as Additional Judges of Calcutta High Court would be till 04th May, 2022, 23rd June, 2023 and 04tl1 August, 2022 respectively with effect from the date they assume charge of their offices.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 26-08-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Additional Judges

President appoints the following  to be Additional Judge of Kerala High Court for a period of 2 years:

  • Shri Mohammed Nias Chovvakkaran Puthiyapurayil
  • Shri Viju Abraham

[Notification dt. 11-08-2021]

Ministry of Law and justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Additional Judge

President of India, appoints Shri Satyen Vaidya, to be an Additional Judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, for a period of two years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Shri Satyen Vaidya, B.A., LL.B., enrolled as an Advocate on 03.11.1986, has more than 31 years of practice at District Courts Shimla from 1986 to 2009 and since 2009 at Himachal Pradesh High Court in Civil, Criminal, Constitutional, Service and Arbitration matters.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 25-06-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

President of India appoints Shri Abdul Rahim Musaliar Badharudeen, to be an Additional Judge of the Kerala High Court, for a period of two years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt.23-06-2021]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Patna High Court: Ashutosh Kumar, J., directed the Bihar government to consider representation made by the petitioners for appointment in the State Health Department, contrary to the advertisement issued by the state whereby it had barred the doctors above 37 years of age from participating. The Bench stated,

“Though the classification with respect to different maximum age limit fixed for different categories may not be called arbitrary, but under the present circumstances, the Government ought to have given due consideration to the fact that the State of Bihar today in the Health Department is severely deficient in terms of manpower.”

Background

The petitioners were qualified doctors, who were aggrieved by the decision of the Government as also of the Technical Service Commission in fixing the upper age limit of 37 years for unreserved male doctors for participating in the interview against the advertisement issued for tackling the difficult situation arising out of Pandemic.

The government of Bihar had advertised the posts of 2632 doctors to be posted as Medical Officers against regular and vacant posts in various Districts and Sub-Divisions as well as Primary Health Centres. This was required to be done as an emergency for the paucity of doctors to handle the COVID-19 Pandemic situation. Pursuant to the aforesaid direction by the State Government, the Bihar Technical Service Commission came up with the impugned advertisement, whereby, the age limit was set as below 37 years.

The petitioners had submitted that fixing of the outer age limit for unreserved male doctors was arbitrary and it does not serve the purpose for which such advertisement had been issued. The petitioner contended that a female doctor in the general category had been allowed to participate if she is 40 years of age whereas the outer age for other class of doctors had been kept as 42 years; also many other States in their Health Departments have considered it appropriate to fix the outer age limit at 42 to 47 years. Apart from this, it had been submitted that the advertisement for appointment and posting of doctors was first issued in the Year 2015, thereafter in 2019 and presently, in an emergency situation in the Year 2019. For the last seven years, there had been only three advertisements which had prevented the qualified doctors in Bihar to get any opportunity of serving in the Health Department.

Maintainability of the petition has been assailed by the state on the ground that the decision to fix the particular age limit for a class of doctors for the purposes of appointment and posting was exclusively in the Government domain as it pertains to policy decision and, therefore, it could not be interfered with in a writ petition by a Court of law.

Findings of the Court

Finding substance in the argument of the petitioners, the Bench agreed that the fixation of 37 years as the outer age limit for the doctors of the General Category may not serve the purpose of improving the medical infrastructure and manpower. Noticing that in last seven years, instead of yearly advertisement for filling-up of such posts, only three advertisements had been issued including the present one and in the earlier advertisement, lesser number of posts than the vacancy was advertised and, therefore, only less number of doctors were appointed, the Bench directed that the state would definitely do a better job by giving relaxation in the outer age limit of the doctors. Moreover, the Bench stated, when the age of superannuation of such Government doctors has been increased from 62 years to 65 or 67 years, it would only be in the commonweal to tackle this problem of lack of medical hands in tackling the problem at the stage of appointment itself.

Accordingly, it was held by the Court that though the classification with respect to different maximum age limit fixed for different categories may not be called arbitrary, but under the present circumstances, the Government ought to have given due consideration to the fact that the State of Bihar today in the Health Department is severely deficient in terms of manpower. Hence, the Bench while asking the state to file a detailed affidavit on the matter, directed it to consider representation made by the aspirants including the petitioners.[Abhay Kumar v. State of Bihar, CWJC No.10366 of 2021, decided on 15-06-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance before the Court by:

For the Petitioner/s: Mr. Sanjeev Ranjan- Advocate

For the State: Mr. Suryakant- Advocate

For BTSC: Mr. Nikesh Kumar- Advocate

Alternate Dispute ResolutionCase BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: J.R. Midha, J., in view of serious doubts on the independence of sole arbitrator as named in the arbitration agreement, appointed another independent arbitrator.

Petitioner sought appointment of an arbitrator under Section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Parties had agreed for reference of disputes to the sole arbitrator, Sachin Dev Sharma, Chartered Accountant as per the arbitration agreement between them.

Petitioners Counsel submitted that the sole arbitrator was not competent to act as an arbitrator in terms of Section 12(5) read with 7th Schedule of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act as the named arbitrator was a consultant/advisor to the respondent and a director and shareholder in PEB Steel Lloyd (India) Ltd.

This Court vide an Order in March had directed the arbitrator to file an affidavit with respect to his relationship between the parties in terms of the Seventh Schedule under Section 12(5) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, wherein he admitted that he was an independent director in PEB Steel Lloyd (India) Ltd. in which respondent 1 was also a director.

Further, respondent 1 submitted that the petitioner had agreed to the named arbitrator cannot wriggle out of the arbitration agreement.

High Court in view of the above submissions, held that it had serious doubt to the independence of named arbitrator and hence in the interest of justice it would be appropriate to appoint an independent arbitrator to adjudicate disputes between the parties.

Saurabh Kirpal, Senior Advocate was appointed as the sole arbitrator and was directed to ensure compliance with Section 12 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act before commencing the arbitration. [Monica Khanna v. Mohit Khanna, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 3421, decided on 18-06-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioners: Abhay Mahajan, Advocate

For the Respondents: Amit Mishra, Advocate

Appointments & TransfersNews

Northern Ireland witnessed a truly historic moment on the appointment of Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan as the First Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Background

Mrs Justice Keegan was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1994 and took silk in 2006. She was appointed as a High Court Judge in October 2015. During her career at the Bar, she served as Vice-Chair of the Bar Council, Chair of the Family Bar Association, Chair of the Young Bar, Chair of the Bar Charity Committee and she was a long-standing member of the Bar’s Professional Conduct Committee.

As per the BBC report,

Mrs Justice Siobhan Keegan has been acting as presiding coroner for Northern Ireland. She recently heard the inquest into the killing of 10 people in an Army operation in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971 and also made judiciary history in 2015 as one of two women appointed as High Court judges.

She will succeed Sir Declan Morgan who is retiring after 10 years as lord chief justice.


Image credits: The Bar of Northern Ireland

Appointments & TransfersNews

President of India appoints Shri Robin Phukan, to be an Additional Judge of the Gauhati High Court. He will hold the office for a period of two years with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Background

Shri Robin Phukan, M.Sc., LL.M., joined the Judicial Service on 09.03.1993. and has served as Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup; Civil Judge & Asstt. Sessions Judge, Tezpur; Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Silchar; Registrar (PM&P); Registrar (Administration); Registrar (Vigilance) and Registrar General Gauhati High Court; District & Sessions Judge, Golaghat; Special judge, CBI & NIA. He was working as District & Sessions Judge, Jorhat from 06.01.2020.

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Judges

President of India appoints the following as Judges of Madhya Pradesh High Court:

  1. Shri Anil Verma
  2. Shri Arun Kumar Sharma
  3. Shri Satyendra Kumar Singh
  4. Smt. Sunita Yadav
  5. Shri Deepak Kumar Agarwal, and
  6. Shri Rajendra Kumar (Verma).

Anil Verma, B.Sc, LLB., joined Judicial Service as Civil Judge Class- Il on 26.08.1987. He worked as Special Judge, Sagar, Secretary, Law & Legislative Department, Govt. of MP, Bhopal, Principal Judge Family Court, Sagar, District & Session Judge, Sagar, District Judge (Vigilance) Indore, and presently he is working as Principal Registrar, High Court of MP Bench at Indore since 04.06.2018.

Shri Arun Kumar Sharma, B.Sc., LLB, joined Judicial Service on 27.08.1987. He worked as Additional District & Sessions Judge, Tikamgarh, Indore, Principal Judge Family Court, Chhatarpur, District & Sessions Judge, Tikamgarh. At present he is working as a District & Sessions Judge, Chhatarpur since 28.03.2019.

Shri Satyendra Kumar Singh, B.Sc, LLB, joined Judicial Service on 03.11.1987. He worked as OSD/Additional Registrar//Registrar(Vigilance) in High Court of M.P., Jabalpur, Special Judge SC/ST Act and 1 st A.J. to I st A.D.J. Ujjain, District & Sessions Judge, Alirajpur, Ujjain and Principal Registrar (Vigilance) HC of MP, Jabalpur. At present he is working as a Principal Secretary, Govt. of MP, Law & Legislative Affairs Department, Bhopal since 14.05.2018.

Smt. Sunita Yadav, B.Sc., LLB, joined Judicial Service on 07.09.1987. She worked as First Addl. Distt. Judge Morena, Executive Director (Law), Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, New Delhi (on deputation), Special Judge SC/ST Act and Additional District Judge, Gwalior, District and Sessions Judge, Ashok Nagar. At present she is working as a District & Sessions Judge, Datia since 03.07.2017.

Shri Deepak Kumar Agarwal, B.Sc., LLB, joined Judicial Service on 01.09.1987. He worked as Addl. Distt. & Session Judge, Indore, Special Judge Atrocities, Bhind District & Sessions Judge, Balaghat. At present he is working as a District & Sessions Judge, Gwalior since 01.12.2018.

Shri Rajendra Kumar (Verma), B.A, LLB, joined Judicial Service on 28.09.1987. He worked as President District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Khandwa, Secretary Law & Legislative, Govt. of MP, Bhopal, Additional District & Sessions Judge, Dewas, District & Sessions Judge, Ailrajpur, Rajgarh Principal Judge, Family Court, Bhopal, At present he is working as District & Sessions Judge, Bhopal since 01.12.2018.

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court

President appoints Shri Sanjay Yadav, Judge of the Allahabad High Court, to be the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.

Background

Shri Justice Sanjay Yadav, M.A., LL.B, was enrolled as an Advocate on 25-08-1986. He practiced at Jabalpur for 20 years in Civil, Constitutional, Labour and Service matters and has specialized in Labour and Service matters. He worked as Government Advocate from March 1999 to October 2005. He was Deputy Advocate General with effect from October 2005. He was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on March 2, 2007, and as a Permanent Judge on January 15, 2010. Later, he was transferred to Allahabad High Court. He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court w.e.f. 14-4-2021.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt. 10-06-2021]

Appointments & TransfersNews

Appointment of Election Commissioner

President of India, appoints Shri Anup Chandra Pandey, IAS (Retd.) (UP: 1984) as the Election Commissioner in the Election Commission of India, with effect from the dated he assumes the office.


Ministry of Law and Justice

[Notification dt.9-06-2021]