Third wife's child too entitled for job on compassion: HC

Third wife's child too entitled for job on compassion: HC

In a landmark judgment which could have wide ramifications, the Patna High Court has ruled that the child of the third wife of a deceased government employee was also entitled to get a government job on compassionate ground.

The ruling comes after one Mohammad Shamshad challenged the order of the District Magistrate (DM) of Supaul, who had rejected Shamshad’s application for a job on compassionate ground. Sha­mshad’s father Muslim Mian, who was a chowkidar at Eastern Embankment Division of Supaul, died while serving as a Bihar Government employee on September 21, 2008.

The DM, while rejecting Shamshad’s petition on September 28, 2011, had said that he was the child of Muslim Mian’s third wife, and was, therefore, ineligible for a job on compassionate ground.

According to Section 23 of Bihar Government Service Conduct Rule, 1976, no government employee can have a second wife if the first one is alive. And if in case he wants to opt for a second marriage, he will have to seek prior permission from the government. But Muslim Mian had not done so.

Instead, the deceased had wedded thrice. He divorced his first wife and entered into wedlock with Hasina. Later, he married Nazia too. Shamshad is the son of Nazia, and therefore wanted the Bihar government to compensate him with a job in his father’s place. His counsel Satish Chandra Jha pl­eaded with the court that as per the Muslim Personal Law, one could have up to four wives.

Delivering the verdict, Justice Navin Sinha observed that Shamshad was entitled to a job, as the government rules were not above Muslim Personal Law. The Bench ordered the government to immediately appoint Shamshad.

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