Allahabad: In a significant judgement, the Allahabad High Court has ruled that a person employed on compassionate ground after the death of spouse cannot be deprived of the "fundamental right" to remarry.
Passing the order on April 11, Justice VK Shukla observed that "merely because compassionate appointment has been provided, a person cannot be forced to sign an affidavit, sacrificing his/her fundamental right, that in future remarriage will not at all be contracted".
The order was passed on a petition filed by one Ankita Srivastava, who was posted as a junior clerk in a government department at Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh.
She was employed in May, 2007, a year after the death of her husband who was working on the same post.
Incidentally, her husband too had secured the job on compassionate ground, as his father had died in 2001.
Barely a couple of months after her appointment, the petitioner had been made to file a "notarial affidavit to the effect that after the death of her husband, neither she has been married nor she has any intention to marry in future".
The petition was opposed by the state`s standing counsel who said, "once petitioner remarries, the object of compassionate appointment shall stand frustrated, and accordingly writ petition be dismissed".
The petitioner had moved the court with the submission that she was only 31 years old and her father had found a suitable match for her but she feared that she would lose the job upon remarriage as "the said affidavit would be used against her".
She contended that her only family member, who needed to be looked after, was her mother-in-law who owned ancestral property besides being a recipient of family pension and that if any further "monetary or physical" help was needed, she was "always ready for that".
Ankita had also contended before the court that she was willing to contribute one third of her salary, every month, in favour of her mother-in-law after her remarriage.