RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh High Court in a significant judgment declared the child born out of a second marriage will be considered as legitimate and consequently also eligible for grant of appointment on compassionate ground
A division bench comprising of Chief Justice P R Ramchandra Menon and Justice Sanjay K Agrawal dismissed the writ petition of the Railways that asserted that the respondent is a daughter from the second wife of the deceased railway staff and so she cannot be considered for the privilege of compassionate appointment since the administration had not permitted the father for the second marriage (in accordance to the official circular).
However, the respondent counsel P Shridhar argued that the daughter from the second wife of the employee is still a legitimate child and has every right to seek compassionate appointment and sought the writ petition filed by the railways be dismissed.
The petitioner though maintained that the second marriage is not permissible, which is invariably clarified in the terms and conditions advised in the offer of initial appointment. So, the cases for compassionate appointment to the second widow or her wards cannot be forwarded to the Railway Board.
However, the court observed that the child born out of second marriage is still a legitimate child and is entitled to the compassionate appointment, even though the marriage may be referred to as null and void.
Citing Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 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, the court maintained.
The court granted a duration of 45 days from the day order to the petitioner for considering the case of the respondent for grant of compassionate appointment.