The Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur Bench has observed that the term 'Dependents' under Rule 2(c) of the Rajasthan Compassionate Appointment of Dependent of Deceased Government Servant Rules, 1996 (Rules, 1996) can include 'Daughter-in-law' in rare cases where there is no surviving breadwinner to support the family and to prevent the family from facing destitution and destress. The Court held that the Petitioner is entitled to receive a compassionate appointment after her husband and mother-in-law passed away.

Justice Vinit Kumar Mathur asserted, “The endeavour of the lawmakers and the Court is to give relief to a person who is facing such a situation as has been faced by the petitioner in the present case. In the instant case, there is nothing on record which shows that the petitioner was not dependent on her mother-in-law, besides this, an exceptional situation has been created which requires the liberal construction of ‘Dependent’ under Rule 2 (c) of the Rules of 1996 to include the ‘Daughter in law’”.

“It is in these circumstances, the Rules framed by the Legislature i.e. Rajasthan Compassionate Appointment of Dependents of Deceased Government Servants (Amendment) Rules, 2021 are required to be interpreted and applied for relieving the petitioner from the situation of crisis and destitution. In the opinion of this Court, the purpose of extending the benefit of compassionate appointment to dependents of a deceased Government servant is to relieve the family from distress and destitution on account of the death of sole bread earner of the family”, the Court further emphasised.

Advocate Khet Singh appeared for the Petitioner, Government Counsel Hemant Choudhary appeared for the State and Advocate S.S. Rajpurohit appeared for Respondent no. 5 (Sister-in-law).

The Petitioner was married to Vinit Singhvi and has twin daughters. Her mother-in-law, who worked as a Senior Teacher at a government secondary school, was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was hospitalized. Unfortunately, the Petitioner's husband also contracted COVID-19 and was admitted to the hospital, but both he and the mother-in-law passed away. The Petitioner then applied for a compassionate appointment with the relevant department, but while her request was being processed, her father-in-law also passed away. Thereafter, she filed a Writ Petition challenging the order of the Deputy Secretary, whereby the impugned order stated that she is not a “Dependent” as per Rules, 1996.

The Court noted that in the cases of compassionate appointment, there are rival contentions between two or more individuals and the test of competitive hardship is required to be assessed. The Petitioner, by application of this test, stands on a much better footing than her sister-in-law (Respondent no 5).

“In case of compassionate appointment, when there are rival contentions between two or more persons, the competitive hardship is required to be seen for the grant of compassionate appointment. By application of this test also, the same lies in favour of the petitioner. In view of the discussion made above, this Court is of the view that the claim of the petitioner for grant of compassionate appointment is more than deserving and even stands on much better footing than the claim of the daughter (respondent No.5) in the present set of facts”, the Court held.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Writ Petition, set aside the impugned order and directed the Respondents to grant compassionate appointment to the Petitioner.

Cause Title: Nirjara Singhvi v State of Rajasthan

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