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Karnataka HC Upholds Married Daughter’s Equal Right To Job On Compassionate Grounds

Posted: December 17, 2020

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A job on compassionate grounds after the death of her father was denied to his daughter just because she is married. Karnataka HC says this is violation of right to equality.

Just like a son continues to be a son, “a daughter also should continue to be a daughter both before and after marriage” ruled the Karnataka HC, and should get the same rights. A married daughter also has a right to a job appointment on compassionate grounds after her father’s demise, as much as a son has.

A petition was filed in the Karnataka High Court by Bhuvaneshwari V. Puranik, whose father passed away while in his government job. She was however, rejected for a job appointment that was supposed to be given on compassionate grounds after the demise of her father, because she is a ‘married’ daughter.

Her advocate challenged these grounds for rejection, arguing that this reason for rejection was against Article 14 of the Constitution of India which gives the Right to Equality to all.

Although Additional Advocate General Subramanya R. argued that the compassion appointment is not a right but a concession shown to the family, the Karnataka High Court considered the reason for rejection discriminatory.

Daughter continues to be a daughter both before and after marriage

The ruling of the court said, “granting appointment to a son without any qualification and denying the same to a daughter with the qualification of marriage cannot but be held to be discriminatory (on the basis of gender). Marriage does not determine the continuance of the relationship of a child with the parent, whether son or a daughter. Son continues to be a son both before and after marriage and a daughter also should continue to be a daughter both before and after marriage. This relationship does not get effaced by the fact of marriage, as marriage does not severe the relationship of the daughter with the parent. These relationships are neither governed nor defined by marital status. This notion on which the Rule is framed cannot answer the tests of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.”

Why are ‘married’ daughters different?

The Constitution of India grants equal rights to all citizens but in reality, inequalities still persist; sexism, prejudice and discrimination still act as obstacles for many Indian women. 

The fact that a woman’s choices, dreams, right to her relationships and fundamental rights are still measured on the grounds of her marital status is not acceptable. We need to move beyond this mindset, which can only be possible when we start considering that after marriage women can still have the same rights, aspirations and goals that men have. 

Image source: shutterstock

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