The Chhattisgarh High Court has reiterated a legal principle that even an illegitimate daughter or son is entitled to compassionate appointment after death of their father.
Justice Sanjay K Agrawal made the observations while hearing a petition filed challenging an order where the petitioner’s application was rejected on the grounds of an invalid succession certificate.
“The fact remains that even the illegitimate son/daughter is also entitled for compassionate appointment and this question is no longer res integra and stand decided authoritatively by the Supreme Court,” the bench noted.
The dispute in the present case was whether the petitioner’s mother was the first wife of the deceased.
In Union of India and others v VR Tripathi, the Supreme Court had noted, “Once Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 regards a child born from a marriage entered into while the earlier marriage is subsisting to be legitimate, it would not be open to the State, consistent with Article 14 to exclude such a child from seeking the benefit of compassionate appointment. Such a condition of exclusion is arbitrary and ultra vires.”
A similar legal principle was echoed in Mukesh Kumar v The Union of India case by a three-judge bench of Supreme Court, “The policy cannot discriminate against a person only on the ground of descent by classifying children of the deceased employee as legitimate and illegitimate and recognizing only the right of legitimate descendant.”
Noting that an illegitimate child cannot be denied consideration for compassionate appointment, the court has directed respondent authorities to consider the applications of both the sons, after giving them an opportunity to represent their entitlement and eligibility.
The authorities have been directed to take a decision within 45 days, on its own merits.