Children born out of second marriage also entitled to Compassionate Employment: Karnataka HC
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Children born out of second marriage also entitled to Compassionate Employment: Karnataka HC

Meera Emmanuel

The Karnataka High Court has ruled that children born of second marriages are also entitled to compassionate employment.

Justice R Devdas passed an order to this effect last month, in a petition filed by one Lohit Gowda. Gowda had filed an application for compassionate employment with the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) after his father, a former employee of the BDA, passed away. However, in March 2018, the BDA rejected his application on the ground that Gowda was born out of his father’s second marriage.

The rejection was ostensibly made in view of a circular issued in August 2015, which was in turn based on a High Court verdict passed in August 2013.

However, Justice Devdas noted that the Supreme Court has thereafter ruled that compassionate employment cannot be denied to an applicant merely because he was born out of a second marriage. This ruling was made in January this year in the case of Union of India v. VR Tripathi.

In fact, the Apex Court had observed that even excluding children born out of void marriages from the benefits of compassionate employment would be “deeply offensive to their dignity and is offensive to the constitutional guarantee against discrimination.” 

The Division Bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah had also noted that the law had intended that children born out of second marriages be treated as legitimate. As observed in its judgment,

Having regard to the purpose and object of a scheme of compassionate appointment, once the law has treated such children as legitimate, it would be impermissible to exclude them from being considered for compassionate appointment. Children do not choose their parents…”

Relying on these observations, the Karnataka High Court has also ruled now that a person cannot be denied employment on compassionate grounds only on account of being born out of a second marriage.

It, therefore, allowed Gowda’s writ petition and set aside the order of the BDA. The BDA was directed to reconsider Gowda’s application, examine whether he was otherwise eligible for the job, and pass an appropriate order in accordance with law.

Read the Judgment:

Lohit-Gowda-v-State-of-Karnataka-Karnataka-HC-April-2019-Compassionate-employment.pdf
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