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eligibility for a job on compassionate grounds?

Court Name :  The Supreme Court of India

Judgement Name: The Director of Treasuries in Karnataka & Anr v/s V.Somyashree

Judgement Date : 13th September 2021

Judges/ Bench : M.R.Shah J.


  • The basic rule that most Indians know is that upon the death of a service personnel during the tenure the job shall be given to their children under  compassionate grounds as per Rule 2 of the Rules 1996.
  • The question of fact and the information related to the eligibility of the children who  can apply  is the main issue of the case, where the case has been put forward from the District Magistrate to The State High Court and then the Supreme Court of India.

Brief facts of the case:

  • In this case, the original writ petitioner’s mother was employed with Karnataka as second division assistant at mandya district treasury, who passed away on 25.03.2012. The petitioner is a married daughter at the time when the deceased died and later filed a writ for mutual divorce under 13B of the  Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, which was declared  on 23.09.2013 as mutual divorce being obtained.
  • On the very next day the  original  writ petition submitted an application for the appointment on compassionate grounds for the job of her mother. The validity of the same is under question.

Contentions of the plaintiffs:  

The main contention of the plaintiff is that as a daughter she shall get the right of the job on compassionate grounds .

Contentions of the defendants:

The defendant contends that as per Rule 2, which gives the right to the deceased family  the right to work in their position does not include a divorced daughter, and also  shall only  have those members who have been living with the deceased and are dependent on the income at the time of death.

Principles and observations of the court

  • The judges on examining the facts of the case stated that neither Rule 2 nor Rule 3 tells that a divorced daughter shall be eligible to get goj on compassionate basis, and the fact that her marital relationship  had no  issues and the issue of divorce rose only  after the death of her mother. Also the evident fact that she was not dependent on her mother nor was staying with her mother at the time of divorce.
  • While the party has made in its submission the reference to the case N.C. Santhosh on appointment on compassionate grounds, After considering the decisions of the court on the issue of appointment of any public post in the service of the state shall  be made on the basis of principles based on Article 14 and 16 of the constitution of India and compassionate appointment is an exception to that.

Judgement held

  • The Learned Tribunal dismissed the application for the job on 09.12.2015 and stated that the rule does not include divorced daughters.
  • The petitioner approached the high court against the order stated by the  learned tribunal,  where the court  has ordered to look into Rule 3 of the Rules, 1996 and has observed that a divorced daughter would fall under the same class of an unmarried daughter and a  widowed daughter.
  • The defendant party, aggrieved by the decision, submitted that in the facts of the case the high court has vehemently quashed the materialistic facts of the case. It was submitted that as per Rule 3(2)(ii) of Rules 1996 does not include divorced  daughters for  grant of compassionate appointment in case of deceased female government servant.
  • It is further submitted that even as per Rule 2 only the family members  who  are  dependent on the deceased only shall be eligible, and a divorced daughter is said not to  be dependent on her mother as she was with the maternal family at the time of death and was not living with her at the time of death.
  • The facts of the case, and the  sequence of the events that the death on 25.03.2012, and immediately filed a writ for divorce on 12.09.2012, which was obtained on 20.03.2013, on the  very next day on 21.03.2013 had submitted for a job on compassionate grounds.The judgement was made by the Supreme Court on the  basis of the facts, and the reliance on the decision of the case N.C.Santhosh c/s The State of Karnataka & Ors.
  • It was held that she is not eligible for the job as the sequence of the events tell the intention of divorce and the application made, and also that she was not dependent on her mother nor was living with her at the time of death.

My  opinion

In my  opinion I agree with the decision of  the court. If the sequence of the events taking place in the rush even though there is no time constraint to apply for the job  on a compassionate basis, the application for divorce within 6  months of death, and the application being filed on the immediate date after the divorce raises a question about the intention of the petitioner.


  1. 2211_2020_42_1502_29965_Judgement_13-Sep-2021.pdf (

Written by; Manjusha Siriparapu (2nd Year)
College: Army Institute of Law, Mohali

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