The Calcutta High Court today ruled that a married daughter is eligible for a job on compassionate ground in case of demise of her father in harness. A three-judge bench headed by acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre declared unconstitutional a provision of West Bengal government’s Labour and Panchayat departments that debarred married daughters from being given jobs on compassionate ground.
The bench, which also comprised justices Dipankar Datta and T Chakraborty, directed that the state government would mention only ‘daughter’ instead of ‘unmarried daughter’ in its future notifications for jobs on such grounds.
The bench rejected appeals by the state government that claimed that married daughters were not considered to be dependents of their parents.
A woman named Arpita Sarkar and two others had challenged notifications by the labour and panchayat departments before the high court in 2014. Justice B Somadder had passed an order that year stating that the provision for excluding married daughters from being given jobs on compassionate ground was violative of Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution. This order was challenged by the state government before a division bench comprising the then Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Joymalyo Bagchi which formed the three- judge bench for hearing the appeal.
After extensive hearing, the three-judge bench passed its order today.