Context:

Children born from all void or voidable marriages, irrespective of the personal laws applicable to their parents, are eligible for compassionate appointments in government service, said the High Court of Karnataka.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Welfare Schemes), GS-II: Polity and Governance (Constitutional Provisions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About the Karnataka HC Judgement
  2. What is Compassionate Appointment?
  3. Legislation regarding Marriage – HMA and SMA
  4. What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?

About the Karnataka HC Judgement

  • The HC while analysing a verdict of the apex court on the right of a child born out of void and voidable marriages under the Hindu Marriage Act for compassionate job, has found it necessary to examine the right of a child born out of a void marriage irrespective of the personal laws of parents.
  • In this exercise, the Bench found that even under the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which is not relatable to any personal law and it is a species of a uniform civil law applicable to marriages of persons irrespective of the religion they may belong to, there are concepts of void and voidable marriages.
  • The HC observed that Children born from all void or voidable marriages, irrespective of the personal laws applicable to their parents, are eligible for compassionate appointments in government service- in order “to protect the children born out of void and voidable marriages under any of the personal laws applicable in India or the Special Marriage Act, 1954, irrespective of whether the personal law confers such legitimacy or not”.

What is Compassionate Appointment?

  • Compassionate Appointment is a social security scheme launched by the Government of India to grant appointment to a dependent family member on a compassionate basis when a government servant dies while in service or retires on medical grounds.
  • The Objective of the scheme is to provide immediate financial assistance to the family who is left in poverty and without any means to sustain their livelihood.
  • Dependent family members applying for compassionate appointment should be eligible and suitable for the post under the relevant Recruitment Rules.
  • In deserving cases with the approval of the Secretary of the Department or the concerned Ministry, a dependent family member can be appraised for a compassionate appointment even if there is an earning member.

Legislation regarding Marriage – HMA and SMA

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955:

  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with marriage registration in case both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or, where they have converted into any of these religions.
  • It is to be noted that Hindu Marriage Act deals with only marriage registration that has already been solemnized.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954:

  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954 lay down the procedure for both solemnization and registration of marriage, where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs.
  • It is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the rights of both the husband and wife are protection.
  • In case this union between the husband-and-wife breaks, it should be determined that if this break-up was a result of actions of any of the parties or not.

What is Uniform Civil Code (UCC)?

  • The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India proposes to replace the personal laws based on the scriptures and customs of each major religious community in the country with a common set governing every citizen.
  • The constitution has a provision for Uniform Civil Code in Article 44 as a Directive Principle of State Policy which states that “The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
  • Article 44 is one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. These, as defined in Article 37, are not justiciable (not enforceable by any court) but the principles laid down therein are fundamental in governance.
  • Fundamental Rights are enforceable in a court of law. While Article 44 uses the words “state shall endeavour”, other Articles in the ‘Directive Principles’ chapter use words such as “in particular strive”; “shall in particular direct its policy”; “shall be obligation of the state” etc.
  • Article 43 mentions “state shall endeavour by suitable legislation”, while the phrase “by suitable legislation” is absent in Article 44. All this implies that the duty of the state is greater in other directive principles than in Article 44.

-Source: The Hindu

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