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HC quashes GR which says married daughter not part of 'family'

The Bombay High Court has struck down a Maharashtra Government Resolution (GR) which excludes a married daughter from being considered as a member of the "family" for grant of retail kerosene license, saying it was violative of the Constitution.

The ruling was delivered by Justices Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar, who were hearing a petition challenging exclusion of a married daughter from the expression "family" for being entitled to be considered for grant of retail kerosene license under Government Resolution dated February 20, 2004.

The petition was filed by Ranjana Anerao, a married daughter of the retail kerosene licencee, saying she was entitled to be a part of the family and hence should be given the licence in place of her mother who had passed away. Her brother had contested the sister's claim saying she was married and was not part of the "family" as defined in the concerned GR.

The petitioner pointed out another GR dated February 26, 2013 which recognised the entitlement of a married daughter to seek appointment in jobs on compassionate basis subject to she and her husband furnishing an undertaking that they would take care of the family. The petitioner also referred to another GR dated May 19, 2014, which permitted nomination of a married daughter by a freedom fighter/his widow for being entitled to benefits admissible to a freedom fighter.

The Judges observed that these GRs recognise the entitlement of a married daughter to seek benefits in the matter of compassionate appointment in state government service and benefits admissible to a freedom fighter. "It is thus obvious that the state of Maharashtra has recognised the entitlement of a married daughter to claim compassionate appointment in state government services or seek benefits as a nominee of freedom fighter as the case may be," the judges said.

"If this be so there is no reason why a married daughter cannot be included in the expression 'family' as stated in impugned GR dated February 20, 2004," they added. "Such non-inclusion would itself militate against the decision of the state government to recognise entitlement of a married daughter in the case of compassionate appointment or freedom fighter's benefits," the judges said.

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