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LEKHA S. NAIR v. THE KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD - WP(C) No. 31272 of 2003(W)  RD-KL 991 (6 October 2006)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAMWP(C) No. 31272 of 2003(W)
1. LEKHA S.NAIR,
1. THE KERALA STATE ELECTRICITY BOARD,
2. THE CHAIRMAN, K.S.E.BOARD,
For Petitioner :SRI.GEORGE POONTHOTTAM
For Respondent :SRI.N.D.PREMACHANDRAN, SC, KSEB
The Hon'ble MR. Justice K.THANKAPPAN
O R D E RK.THANKAPPAN J. W.P.(C)NO.31272 OF 2003
Dated this the 6th day of October, 2006
The petitioner is the daughter of a retired employee of the first respondent - Kerala State Electricity Board. She applied for employment assistance under Exts.P12 notification. The claim of the petitioner was rejected by the first respondent as per Ext.P19 order on two grounds :(i) the petitioner was the married daughter of the employee and (ii) there was shortage of nine months for the Board employee, father of the petitioner, to complete the requisite one year service between the date of retirement and the normal date of retirement for getting the benefit of the scheme. Aggrieved by the above, the petitioner has approached this Court.
2. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner submits that as per Ext.P12 notification, the daughter of an employee of the Board who died in harness is entitled for employment assistance. Counsel further submits that Ext.P21 order issued by the Board regarding employment W.P.(C)NO.31272/2003 2 assistance to the daughter of an employee of the Board is only a clarification to the existing regulations and even subsequent to the clarification, employment assistance was given to a married daughter of an employee of the Board. Hence, according to counsel, rejection of the application filed by the petitioner for employment assistance is discriminatory.
3. Learned Standing Counsel appearing for the first respondent - Board submits that a similar question was considered by this Court in the decision reported in Sunithakumari v. K.S.E.B., 1992(2)K.L.T. 157 and this Court had taken the view that married daughters of an employee are not entitled for employment assistance. Counsel further submits that the father of the petitioner though allowed to retire on invalid grounds had not completed the requisite one year service between the date of retirement and the normal date of retirement and hence the petitioner is not entitled for employment assistance.
4. Regulation 4 of Ext.P12 notification reads as follows:
"(1) In the case of a Board employee, the W.P.(C)NO.31272/2003 3 following relatives shall be the dependents eligible for appointment under these regulations, in the order of priority specified below, namely,
(i) Widow/Widower (ii) Son (iii) Daughter (iv) Unmarried and Unemployed brother
(v) Unmarried and Unemployed sister. (vi) Father (vii) Mother (viii) Nephew (ix) Niece Provided that if the widow or widower as the case may be, of a deceased Board employee if remarried, shall not be eligible for appointment under these regulations."
5. A reading of the above regulation would show that the daughter of an employee who died in harness is entitled for employment assistance. The judgment relied on by the learned counsel appearing for the Board is not applicable to the case of the petitioner since that application was not considered on merits and at the time of filing that application, Ext.P12 was not in force. That apart, Ext.P21 clarification was issued only on 7.5.2004. As per Ext.P21, married daughter of a deceased Board employee is eligible for appointment under the compassionate appointment scheme. It is also stated in Ext.P21 that settled cases will not be re-opened. The petitioner's case was not settled previously. That W.P.(C)NO.31272/2003 4 apart, it can be seen from Ext.P22 that a similarly situated person was given the benefit of employment assistance. Hence, this Court is of the view that the rejection of the application filed by the petitioner requires reconsideration. The second ground urged is also not applicable in the present case since the petitioner's father had already filed an application on 26.4.2000 for Voluntary Retirement from Service.
6. Accordingly, Ext.P19 is quashed and the first respondent - Board is directed to reconsider the application filed by the petitioner for employment assistance as early as possible, at any rate within 60 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment. The Writ Petition is allowed as above.
(K.THANKAPPAN, JUDGE)sp/ W.P.(C)NO.31272/2003 5
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