In an important judgment against the denial of compassionate appointment to a woman after the death of her bachelor brother, because she is married and hence not a dependent, the Telangana High Court said it amounted to gender discrimination.
Justice P Madhavi Devi on August 4 directed the government-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) to offer a job to the sister of the deceased man, Munigala Naresh, under the compassionate appointment quota.
As per the circular of SCCL, where the man worked, an employee’s son who is married is considered dependent and eligible for compassionate appointment if the person dies and not a daughter who is married, said the lawyer of the petitioner.
The court was hearing a petition by Godavarikhani residents Munigala Deepa, 50, and Roshni, 25, the mother and sister of Naresh who passed away while working at SCCL. Naresh was given a job at SCCL under compassionate grounds following the death of his father Rajaiah.
SCCL is a coal mining company jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and Government of India, operating 18 opencast and 24 underground mines in four districts with manpower of around 42,733 employees.
However, after the death of Naresh within a year of joining duties, his younger sister was denied job under compassionate appointment since she was married and not a dependent of Naresh.
The judge directed SCCL to consider a fresh representation from Roshni and pass appropriate orders for compassionate appointment and complete the process within two months of receipt of the order copy.
Counsel Sanjeev Kalvala, who appeared for the petitioner, challenged the circular issued by SCCL on compassionate employment and argued that Roshni, daughter of Munigala Rajaiah and Deepa, was the only family member eligible for compassionate appointment after the death of Naresh.
“We brought to the attention of the court that in Jharkhand, the High Court had held that whether married or not married, the sister is also eligible to be considered for compassionate appointment and that non-consideration would amount to gender discrimination. The Supreme Court too upheld this judgment,” the advocate told indianexpress.com.