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HP High court: No Residence-based discrimination for employment on compassionate ground

Shimla, July 26

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh, in a matter pertaining to employment on compassionate ground, has held that no citizen can be discriminated on basis of residence.

A Division Bench, comprising the Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel, passed this order on a petition filed one Sandeep Kaur, a resident of Bharatgarh, District Ropar, Punjab.

The case of the petitioner is that her father was employed as Forest Guard in HP State Forest Development Corporation and he died while in service on 16.07.2020, after rendering 21 years and 6 months of service. The petitioner is daughter of the deceased. The petitioner applied for employment as a Clerk, on compassionate ground in the year 2021. The respondent department asked the petitioner to produce Income Certificate and Character Certificate, issued by Executive Magistrate or Tehsildar, and a Bonafide Certificate.

The petitioner procured an Income Certificate and submitted it to the respondent department, but Character Certificate issued by the Executive Magistrate or Tehsildar could not be provided as she is resident of Punjab, and such certificates in that State are issued by the Senior Superintendent of Police. So, she obtained such certificate from the Senior Superintendent of Police and supplied the same to respondent department. As regards the Bonafide Certificate, she could not produce the same for the reason that she doesn’t have permanent home in Himachal Pradesh.

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The counsel for petitioner contended that as per the bye-laws of the respondent Corporation, an employee need be only a citizen of India, for employment. The respondents on the other hand contended that the case of the petitioner is not covered by bye-laws of the H.P. State Forest Development Corporation and would be regulated under the provisions applicable to the Himachal Pradesh Government employees from time to time.

After hearing the counsels for the parties at a length, the Court observed that as per the Constitution, no citizen can be discriminated on basis of residence and the law does not compel a man to do what is not possible for him to perform. So insisting that petitioner produces such a certificate when it is undisputed that she is an Indian citizen and daughter of the deceased employee cannot be countenanced.

The Court has directed the respondents to provide employment on compassionate grounds to the petitioner within four weeks. The respondents have been also directed to pay costs to the tune of Rs. 10,000/- to the petitioner.


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