Ward claiming compassionate appointment must establish that she was “wholly dependent” on deceased government servant

Rajasthan High Court: A writ petition was preferred by the petitioners to question the constitutional validity of Rule 2(c) of the Rajasthan Compassionate Appointment of Dependents of Deceased Government Servants Rules, 1996 (the Rules of 1996). As per the petitioner, her father Yagyadutt Sharma died while in service of State of Rajasthan on 05.07.2017 and being his ward, she submitted an application for appointment on compassionate grounds, but that has not been entertained in view of the definition of “dependent” as prescribed under Rule 2(c) of the Rules of 1996. The petitioner happens to be a married daughter of late Shri Yagyadutt.

The Rules of 1996 defines “dependent” as a spouse, son, married or widow daughter, adopted son, adopted married daughter legally adopted by the deceased government servant during his/her lifetime and who was wholly dependent on the deceased government servant at the time of his/her death. According to the petitioner, the rule under challenge is ultra vires Article 14 of the Constitution as it is discriminatory as well as arbitrary. The petitioner submitted that the said rule differentiates among the siblings merely on the count of their marital status and that amounts to a classification unreasonable.

The High Court, after perusal of the definition under challenge, came to the conclusion that the wards claiming appointment must be “wholly dependent” on the deceased government servant. The Court opined that for the sake of argument, even if it is assumed that a married daughter would have been eligible to get appointment on compassionate grounds, even then she is required to establish her whole dependence upon the government servant who died while in service. In the case at hand, there being no material available to establish that the petitioner who was residing with her husband was wholly dependent upon late Mr Yagyadutt, the Court dismissed the writ petition thereby declining to invoke its extraordinary jurisdiction in favour of the petitioner. [Vandana Sharma v. State of Rajasthan,  2017 SCC OnLine Raj 2599, decided on 14.10.2017]

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