Woman can't claim job on brother's death: HC

One-liner: A sister does not figure in the definition of 'family' of her brother, the HC of Karnataka said dismissing the contention of a woman seeking a job on compassionate grounds on his demise.

Appeal: A bench was hearing an appeal filed by Pallavi G M, a 29-year-old resident of Tumakuru.

Defintion of family: "Courts through the process of interpretation cannot expand the contours of a statutory definition. When the rule maker in so many words has specified the persons as being the members of the family of an employee, we cannot add one to or delete one from the definition of family," the HC said.

Order challenged: She had challenged the March 30, 2023, order of a single-judge bench which had dismissed her petition seeking appointment on compassionate grounds. 

  • Her brother, who was employed in BESCOM, the State power transmission company, had died in harness

Dependent on her brother: Her counsel argued that she was dependent on her brother and therefore a member of his family and therefore a candidate for appointment on compassionate grounds.

  • The counsel for BESCOM contended the compassionate appointment is an exception to the rule of equality in the matter of public employment 

Not entitled: Therefore, the scheme providing for the same needs to be strictly construed. If so construed, the appellant who is a sister of the deceased employee is not entitled to any compassionate appointment.

Long settled position: The HC in its judgment concurred with the argument of the BESCOM counsel and said, "It has been a long-settled position of law that only a member of the family of the deceased employee alone can stake his/her claim for appointment on compassionate grounds."

What the HC said: The HC also noted that there was no material to show that she was dependent on her brother at the time of his death.

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