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Friday, January 16, 2015

CIVIL APPEAL NOS.409-410 OF 2015 (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) Nos. 20840-41/2014) Vijaya Ukarda Athor (Athawale) ..Appellant Versus State of Maharashtra and Ors. ..Respondents

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLALTE JURISDICTION

                      CIVIL APPEAL NOS.409-410 OF 2015
               (Arising out of S.L.P. (C) Nos. 20840-41/2014)


Vijaya Ukarda Athor (Athawale)                              ..Appellant

                                   Versus

State of Maharashtra and Ors.                    ..Respondents

                               J U D G M E N T

R. BANUMATHI, J.

Delay condoned.  Leave granted.
2.          These appeals arise out of the impugned Order  dated  18.03.2013
passed by the High Court of Bombay Bench at Nagpur, in W.P. No.1341 of  2013
and Order dated 22.11.2013 passed in the Review Application No.511  of  2013
in Writ Petition No.1341 of 2013, whereby the High Court dismissed the  Writ
Petition  and  also  the  Review  Application  thereby  declining  to  issue
direction  to  consider  the  case  of  the  appellant   for   compassionate
appointment.
3.          The issue relates to the compassionate appointment  between  the
rival claimants.  Late Ukarda Athor (Athwale), who was working  as  a  clerk
in Municipal Corporation, Amravati, had two wives  namely  Shantabai  Ukarda
Athor and Kuntabai Ukarda Athor.  He died  on  18.06.1997.   The  appellant-
Vijaya Ukarda Athor (Athawale), is daughter of Late Ukarda Pundlikrao  Athor
(Athawale) through the first wife, 3rd respondent is the son of Late  Ukarda
Athor through the second wife.  Smt. Shantabai Ukarda Athor, mother  of  the
appellant, filed a Regular Civil Suit No.40 of 2001 in the  Court  of  Civil
Judge (Junior Division), Anjanagaon-Surji, Dist.  Amravati,  seeking  for  a
declaration being the legal heirs of deceased Ukarda Athor,  they  have  the
right in the property, pension and funds of deceased Ukarda  Athor  and  the
said suit was decreed by the judgement dated 15.01.2005. In  the  Succession
Case No.6/1998 Dated 24.09.2007  filed  under  Section  372  of  the  Indian
Succession Act, 1925, the Civil Judge (J.D.),  Distt.  Amravati,  interalia,
ordered that the mother of the appellant would be entitled for  the  benefit
of the pension of the deceased.  In the  succession  case,  it  was  further
ordered that the appellant and her mother would be entitled to  1/4th  share
each of total amount of GPF and other funds of Ukarda Athor.  On  25.5.2009,
respondent No.3 moved an application seeking compassionate appointment.   On
19.4.2012, the appellant filed an objection application,  raising  objection
for  consideration  of  job  application  filed  by  respondent   No.3   and
requesting the authorities not to give him  the  compassionate  appointment.
The Municipal Corporation vide order dated 18.09.2012  appointed  respondent
No.3- Sagar Ukarda  thereby  declaring  the  appellant  ineligible  for  the
compassionate appointment as she has already got married.
4.          Aggrieved by the order of non-grant  of  appointment,  appellant
herein filed a Writ Petition No.1341  of  2013  before  the  High  Court  of
Bombay.   Vide  order  dated  18.03.2013,  the  High  Court  dismissed   the
aforesaid writ petition holding  that  on  the  date  of  appointment,   the
appellant was a married daughter and the policy decision was  taken  by  the
State Government on 26.2.2013 for  grant  of  compassionate  appointment  to
married daughter and before the said date the  appellant  was  not  eligible
for any appointment.  The appellant filed a review  application  before  the
High Court which was also dismissed vide order dated 22.11.2013.   In  these
appeals, the appellant assails the above orders.
5.          Learned counsel for the appellant contended that at the time  of
death of her father Mr. Ukarda Athor (dated 18.06.1997)  the  appellant  who
was  then  a  minor,   submitted  an  application  seeking  appointment   on
29.12.1997  and  again  after  attaining  majority,  the  appellant   sought
compassionate appointment for the post of clerk vide her  application  dated
19.03.1998, filed in a prescribed proforma.  However, for a  long  time,  no
appointments  took  place  in  the  respondent-Corporation.    It  was  also
submitted that appellant got married in 2009, but still she would take  care
of the needs  of  her  widowed  mother  and  there  is  no  bar  for  giving
compassionate appointment to a married daughter and rejecting the  claim  of
a married daughter who  is  otherwise  suitable  for  seeking  compassionate
employment defies any logic.  It was submitted that the High Court  did  not
keep in view that the appointment has been sought on  compassionate  grounds
for the post of clerk ever since the death of appellant's father as per  the
well settled proposition laid down by the Supreme Court.  It  was  contended
that the compassionate appointment given  to  respondent  No.3,  who  is  an
illegitimate son of the deceased-employee is not sustainable.
6.           The  learned  counsel  for  the  second  respondent-Corporation
submitted that the appointment on compassionate ground cannot be claimed  as
a matter of right but  can  be  claimed  only  in  terms  of  the  Rules  or
Regulations framed in this regard.  Placing reliance upon the  judgments  of
this Court in the case of  Shreejith  L.  vs.  Deputy  Director  (Education)
Kerala and Ors., (2012) 7  SCC  248  and  The  Chief  Commissioner,  Central
Excise and Customs, Lucknow & Ors. vs. Prabhat Singh, 2013  (1)  SCALE  506,
it was submitted that where  the  norms  have  been  laid  down  for  making
compassionate appointments, the same have to be strictly followed.
7.          The learned counsel further submitted that when the  application
for compassionate appointment was considered as  per  Government  Resolution
dated 26.10.1994, only unmarried daughter was eligible to be considered  for
compassionate appointment. Learned counsel urged that the  State  Government
has taken a Policy Decision only on 26.02.2013,  as per  which  the  married
daughters would  also  be  eligible  for  consideration  for  the  grant  of
compassionate appointment subject to the fulfilment of  certain  conditions.
 The learned counsel further contended  that  before  26.02.2013  since  the
appellant was not eligible to be considered for  compassionate  appointment,
the High Court rightly dismissed the writ petition and the  impugned  orders
do not suffer from any infirmity warranting interference.
8.          The learned counsel for the respondent No.3 submitted that  even
though respondent No.3 is the son of  a  deceased  employee  out  of  second
wedlock and illegitimate child, yet there is no denying  the  fact  that  he
remains the son of deceased-Ukarda Athor and therefore, the respondent  No.3
was entitled to the same treatment as is available to  the  child  of  first
marriage.  It was submitted that as the illegitimate  son  of  the  deceased
the 3rd respondent is entitled to get appointment  on  compassionate  ground
subject  to  the  fulfilment  of  certain  criteria  as  laid  down  by  the
authorities and in consideration of the status of the  respondent  No.3  and
the Policy Decision of the State Government,  rightly  respondent  No.3  was
given the  appointment  and  the  High  Court  rightly  dismissed  the  writ
petition and also the review application and the impugned orders warrant  no
interference.
9.          We have carefully considered the rival contentions  and  perused
the impugned order and other materials on record.
10.         The fact that the appellant is the daughter  through  the  first
wife-Shantabai Athor and respondent No.3 is the son through the second wife-
Kuntabai Athor of Late Ukarda Athor are not in dispute.  Ukarda  Athor  died
on  18.06.1997.  According  to  the  appellant,  her  mother  submitted   an
application  dated  29.12.1997  stating  that  her  daughter  Vijaya  Athor-
appellant who is aged seventeen years and then  a  minor  studying  in  10th
standard,  should  be  given  compassionate  appointment  when  she  attains
majority.  According to the appellant after she attained  majority  she  has
submitted  another  application   on   19.03.1998,   seeking   compassionate
appointment; but for quite sometime, the same  was  not  considered  by  the
authorities.  The appellant was married in the year 2009. The contention  of
the appellant is that her  application  for  compassionate  appointment  was
kept pending  by  the  authorities  without  any  justifiable  reason.   But
according  to  the  respondent  No.2-Corporation,   giving   employment   in
government service on compassionate ground was then governed by  "Government
Resolution,       General       Administration        Department,        No.
Comp.1093/2335/M.No.90/93/Eight, dated 26 October, 1994". As  per  the  said
Resolution only the unmarried daughter of the  deceased  would  be  eligible
for the appointment as per Rules.  Reliance is placed on  clause  (3)(a)  of
Government Resolution which reads as under:
"(3)  (a).   Husband/wife,  son  or  unmarried  daughter  of  the  deceased/
prematurely retired government employee OR son/unmarried  daughter  lawfully
adopted, before death/premature  retirement,  shall  be  deemed  to  be  the
relatives eligible to be appointed as per  rules.   Except  them,  no  other
relative shall get the benefit under this scheme."


      The State Government has taken a Policy  Decision  on  26.02.2013  and
held  that  the  married  daughters  are  also  entitled  for  compassionate
appointment subject to certain conditions.
11.         In our considered view, the questions viz.: (i)  the  effect  of
"Government  Resolution,  General  Administration  Department,   No.   Comp.
1093/2335/M. No.90/93/Eight, dated 26.10.1994 and effect of  Clause  (3)(a);
(ii) the plea that the appellant submitted  application  on  29.12.1997  and
19.03.1998, that the same was not considered by the  authorities  for  quite
sometime;  (iii)  at  the  time  when  the  applications  for  compassionate
appointment was considered in 2012 whether 3rd respondent  was  eligible  to
be  considered;  (iv)  the  effect  of  subsequent  policy  decision   dated
26.02.2013 taken by the State Government as per which the  married  daughter
is also eligible to get  compassionate  appointment;  and  (v)   such  other
relevant  questions which are to  be  examined.   In  our  considered  view,
instead of this Court examining the above questions, the  matter  is  to  be
remitted back to the High Court for considering the above questions  in  the
light of the facts and circumstances of the case.
12.         In the result, the impugned Orders of the  High  Court  in  Writ
Petition No.1341 of 2013 dated 18.03.2013 and Review Application No. 511  of
2013 dated 22.11.2013 are set aside and the  appeals  are  allowed  and  the
matter is remitted back to the High Court for consideration  of  the  matter
afresh. The High Court shall give sufficient opportunity  to  the  appellant
and the respondents and consider the  matter  afresh  expeditiously  and  in
accordance with law.

                                             .............................J.
                                                           (V. Gopala Gowda)



                                             .............................J.
                                                              (R. Banumathi)
New Delhi;
January 14, 2015

ITEM NO.1B-For Judgment    COURT NO.11               SECTION IX

               S U P R E M E  C O U R T  O F  I N D I A
                       RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C)  No(s).  20840-20841/2014

(Arising out of impugned final judgment and order  dated  18/03/2013  in  WP
No. 1341/2013,22/11/2013 in MA No. 511/2013,22/11/2013 in WP  No.  1341/2013
passed by the High Court Of Bombay At Nagpur)

VIJAYA UKARDA ATHOR(ATHAWALE)                      Petitioner(s)
                                VERSUS
STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND OTHERS                    Respondent(s)

Date : 14/01/2015 These  petitions  were  called  on  for  pronouncement  of
JUDGMENT today.

For Petitioner(s)       Mr. Sanjai Kumar Pathak,Adv.
                     Mr. Ashish Kumar Sinha, Adv.
                        Mr. Arpit Rai, Adv.

For Respondent(s)       Mr. Shankar Chillarge, Adv.
                     Mr. Aniruddha P. Mayee,Adv.

                        Mr. Suhas Kadam, Adv.
                     For M/s Lemax Lawyers & Co.

            Hon'ble Mrs. Justice R. Banumathi  pronounced  the  judgment  of
the Bench comprising Hon'ble Mr. Justice V. Gopala Gowda  and  Hon'ble  Mrs.
Justice R. Banumathi.
            Delay condoned.
            Leave granted.
            The appeals are allowed in terms of the signed order.

    (VINOD KR. JHA)                               (RENU DIWAN)
      COURT MASTER                                COURT MASTER
            (Signed Reportable judgment is placed on the file)

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