Compassionate appointment extends to even the child adopted by the spouse after the death of the employe

Facts of the case:  – The petitioner is a widow of her husband Late Gurcharan Singh, retired who from BSF and her minor son Karanvir Singh along with three other persons were killed by the CRPF on account of their mistaken identity. Civil Administration as well as the then Governor of Punjab assured the petitioner at the time of cremation of her husband and son that the Government would provide job to a member of her family. So she adopted Jaskaran Singh, her brother’s son after her husband’s death on 29.01.1993.

The adopted son had now passed B.Com and the petitioner made an application dated 15.01.2013 to the Deputy Commissioner, Tarn Taran for seeking employment for her adopted son on compassionate ground, which was rejected on 07.02.2013. The petitioner made another application to the Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab at the time of Sangat Darshan, which was forwarded to the Special Chief Secretary (R) and further to the Secretary, Revenue and Rehabilitation and Disaster Management, Punjab, who informed the Deputy Commissioner, Tarn Taran that the employment to the son of the petitioner on compassionate ground cannot be given as Jaskaran Singh is not the adopted son of Gurcharan Singh because he is alleged to have died on 16.02.1991, whereas Jaskaran Singh was born on 15.07.1991 and was, thereafter, adopted by the petitioner.

Mr. Navkiran Singh, Advocate and Mr. Navratan Singh, Advocate for the petitioner submitted that the adopted dependent son is also eligible for consideration for appointment on compassionate ground in view of Clause 5(1)(i) of the policy of Government of India contained in their letter No.14014/20/94-Estt. (D), dated 9th December, 1993, wherein it is provided that a dependent member of the family of a person (bread-winner) killed or 100% physically disabled in terrorist action or by security forces, acting in aid of civil power in the State, is eligible for compassionate appointment.

It was further argued by Mr. Navkiran Singh, Advocate and Mr. Navratan Singh, Advocate that had the husband and minor son of the petitioner not been killed by the CRPF, mistaking them as terrorists, her sole bread-winner would not have died and she had no occasion to adopt the son of her brother in the presence of her own son. In support of their submission, they had relied upon a judgment of this Court in the case of Kanwaljit Singh vs. The State of Haryana and others, 1982 PLJ 64, in which it was held that the son adopted by widow gets transplanted from natural parents to adoptive family and becomes son not only of widow but also of deceased husband of the widow.

After considering the above-mentioned submissions and arguments of Advocates for petitioner Justice R.K. Jain held that

In the present case, the adoption is not of a major/adult person just in order to obtain the benefit of the policy rather the adoption took place even before the policy came into being. The adoption was for the purpose of giving support to the widowed petitioner in her old age and for that matter, her own brother came forward by giving his son in adoption to his sister. The objection raised by the respondents in the impugned order that the adopted son Jaskaran Singh is not the son of the deceased Gurcharan Singh is really fantastic because the petitioner has placed on record voluminous documentary evidence such as his academic testimonials in which he has been recorded as the son of Gurcharan Singh and not the son of his natural father.

Even otherwise, as per Section 12 of the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956, after the adoption takes place, the ties of the adopted person are permanently disconnected with his natural family for all intents and purposes. Moreover, in Kanwaljit Singh’s case (supra), relied upon by the counsel for the petitioner, this Court has categorically held that the son adopted by widow gets transplanted from natural parents to adoptive family and becomes son not only of widow but also of deceased husband of the widow.

Keeping in view the aforesaid discussion, the present writ petition is hereby allowed, impugned order is set aside and the respondents are directed to consider case of the petitioner for the purpose of compassionate appointment to her adopted dependent unmarried son as early as possible, preferably within a period of 2 months from the date of receipt of certified copy of this order.”

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