-Report by Rhea Mistry
The High court of Himachal Pradesh in Rakesh Kumar v. the State of Himachal Pradesh said that daughter of the family does not cease to be a member of the family just because she gets married, she is still considered a member of the family.
The petitioner Rakesh Kumar is the son of his deceased father Khajana Ram who served as a Beldar in the Arki Division of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department perpetually. He passed away while working on 17th May 2015. His son, the petitioner, Rakesh Kumar after his father’s demise applied for a job through the government’s policy of obtaining on compassionate grounds.
In 2008, the petitioner applied for a job that got rejected by the government for the reason that he did not fulfill the financial income criteria which are provided by the government by Department of Personnel regulations. The mother of the petitioner followed with an application to the authorities on the same compassionate grounds for a job. After that, the petitioner again applied for the job on compassionate grounds but through the Right to Information Act, he came to know this application was also rejected. Thereafter, he filed the present petition.
During the petition, it came forward that the deceased has left behind four members of the family, i.e., his widow, two sons, and one married daughter. Calculating the family income at that time was Rs. 95,122/- from the income certificate given by the tehsildar on 11th September 2013.
For a family of four or more with dependents, the annual income should be Rs. 1,25,000-with an individual income of Rs. 31,250/- per annum. In the petitioners’ case, the individual income was Rs. 31,707. The claim was rejected stating that the petitioner is not judged as poor.
After the death of the father, when the petitioner applied for the job the income of the family from all the sources was Rs. 33,800/- as per the income certificate which was issued by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. The pension was received by the family and including that, the annual income went to Rs. 53,280/-. According to the Notings, the annual income
of the family was judged to be under the prescribed limit of Rs. 75,000/- considering the three members of the family i.e., the wife and two sons. The Finance Department rejected the petitioners’ application because he did not suffice the financial criteria prescribed by the government.
The court heard the contentions made by the petitioner and the learned additional advocate general and said that the rejection of the petitioner’s application was a bit “harsh”. The court also stated that the individual income is Rs.31,707/- when the limit is Rs. 31,250/- because it is more than Rs. 450/-, and the petitioner’s application is rejected. If the income would have been Rs. 31,250/-, then the petitioner was eligible for application on compassionate grounds.
The court observed that while considering the family income and members, the daughter was not counted as a family member as she was married. They stated that when a girl gets married, she loses a title in two ways, one is she loses a title as a family member from her family and the other is she loses a title from her in-law’s family for the purpose that she cannot be considered a family member for assessing the annual income. The court found this “arbitrary” and “discriminatory”.
There is no reason why a daughter should not be counted as a family member while calculating family income. The court said that if they approve the standards issued by the government, it will become a party for gender discrimination. So, the Himachal Pradesh High Court asserted that while calculating family income, the daughter must be considered a member of the family. She will not cease to be a member of the family merely because she is married.
In this case, the family income is to be assessed with four members and not three. After calculating the income with four members, it comes to less than Rs. 31,250/- and so allowed the petition. The respondents are ordered to offer the appointment to the petitioner on compassionate grounds on his qualifications. The court also said that the appointment of the petitioner is said to be notional for all purposes and intents including monetary and actual benefits and shall accrue from the date of appointment of the petitioner which shall be made up to 15th July 2022.
With this, the petition was disposed of.