Whether the Regulation 4(3) of the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation Compassionate Appointment Regulations, 2010 (for short, ‘the Regulations’) is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. ? According to Regulation 4(3) of the Regulations, claim for both compassionate appointment and compensation under the Act cannot be made against the Corporation in case of death of an employee while travelling in the vehicle of the Appellant-Corporation. Regulation 4(3) was found to be discriminatory because compassionate appointment can be provided to an employee who dies in an accident while travelling in a vehicle not belonging to the Corporation though he had claimed compensation either from the owner of the vehicleor the insurance company, under the Act. = High court held it as violative but Apex court set aside the same and held it as no violative art.14 of the constitution. Apex court held that = in National Insurance Company Limited v. Rekhaben and Others. The question that arose for consideration of this Court related to the deduction of salary that was earned by the claimant therein after being appointed on compassionate grounds while calculating the compensation payable to her under the Act for the death of her husband. It was held that the salary earned by compassionate appointment cannot be deducted from the compensation which the claimant is entitled under the Act. However, it was made clear that the salary which flowed from the compassionate appointment that was provided by the tortfeasor was liable to be deducted if the employer was the owner of the offending vehicle and thus liable to pay compensation under the Act. In other words, the employer who has provided compassionate appointment can claim deduction of the salary of the dependent while calculating if he is liable to pay compensation under the Act, being the owner of the offending vehicle.Therefore, Regulation 4(3) cannot be said to be discriminatory. In the aforementioned view, we are not in agreement with the judgment passed by the High Court that Regulation 4(3) is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

Non-Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
Civil Appeal No. 7802 of 2019
(Arising out of SLP (C) No.4772 of 2017)
RAJASTHAN STATE ROAD TRANSPORT CORPORATION.

…. Appellant(s)
Versus
DANISH KHAN
…. Respondent (s)
With
Civil Appeal No. 7803 of 2019
(Arising out of SLP (C) No.13139 of 2017)
J U D G M E N T
L. NAGESWARA RAO, J.

  1. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (for
    short, ‘the Corporation’) has filed the above Appeal
    aggrieved by the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court of
    Judicature, Jaipur Bench by which Regulation 4(3) of the
    Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation
    Compassionate Appointment Regulations, 2010 (for short,
    ‘the Regulations’) has been declared as violative of Article
    14 of the Constitution of India.
    1
  2. The Respondent’s father Mohd. Shahid who was
    working as a Helper in the Appellant-Corporation died in a
    motor accident. He was travelling in a bus of the
    Appellant-Corporation which collided with another bus. A
    claim was made by the Respondent before the Motor
    Accident Claim Tribunal, Tonk (for short, ‘the Tribunal’)
    under Section 166 and 140 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
    (for short, ‘the Act’). An amount of Rs.1,35,50,000/- was
    claimed, but the Tribunal awarded a compensation of
    Rs.22,95,775/-.
  3. The Respondent made a representation to the Chief
    Manager of the Appellant-Corporation seeking
    compassionate appointment. The request for
    compassionate appointment was rejected on the ground
    that the Respondent was not entitled in light of Regulation
    4(3) of the Regulations. Dissatisfied with the rejection of
    the request for compassionate appointment, the
    Respondent filed a Writ Petition in the High Court
    challenging the constitutionality of Regulation 4(3). The
    High Court allowed the Writ Petition by a judgment dated
    29.08.2016 on the ground that Regulation 4(3) of the
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    Regulations is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of
    the Constitution.
  4. The High Court held that the object of compassionate
    appointment is to mitigate the hardship of the family
    members of the bread-winner and for that reason
    compassionate appointment should be provided to the
    family in distress. According to Regulation 4(3) of the
    Regulations, claim for both compassionate appointment
    and compensation under the Act cannot be made against
    the Corporation in case of death of an employee while
    travelling in the vehicle of the Appellant-Corporation.
    Regulation 4(3) was found to be discriminatory because
    compassionate appointment can be provided to an
    employee who dies in an accident while travelling in a
    vehicle not belonging to the Corporation though he had
    claimed compensation either from the owner of the vehicle
    or the insurance company, under the Act.
  5. Before proceeding further, it is relevant to take note
    of Regulation 4(3) of the Regulations which is as follows:
    “On the occasion of death of any employee of the
    Corporation while performing his duty or a vehicular death
    by the vehicle belonging to the Corporation. If the legal
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    representatives of the deceased employee seek
    compensation from the Corporation by filing a claim petition
    before the accident tribunal and the same is awarded or the
    matter remains pending before the tribunal. In such a case
    the Legal representatives of the deceased employee shall
    have no right to seek appointment on compassionate
    ground, if compensation is awarded or the matter remains
    pending before the tribunal. If on the death of an employee
    of the Corporation his Legal representative at the time of
    compassionate appointment files an application for the
    same in the prescribed format then the application for
    appointment on compassionate ground has to be
    supplemented with an Affidavit on a non-judicial stamp
    paper of Rs.10/- by the legal representative that no claim
    petition against the corporation has been filed before any
    competent court and also that no such claim shall be filed in
    the future and if in future even if any of the legal
    representatives files a claim petition before MACT then the
    employer/ Corporation shall have right to cancel my
    appointment without any notice and that I won’t file any
    case against such dismissal before any competent court.”
  6. According to the said Regulation, the death of an
    employee of the Corporation while travelling in a vehicle
    belonging to the Appellant-Corporation cannot give rise to
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    compensation under the Act as well as a claim for
    compassionate appointment in the Appellant- Corporation.
    The question that arises for our consideration is whether
    the High Court was right in holding that Regulation 4(3) is
    discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the
    Constitution. The reason given by the High Court to hold it
    unconstitutional is that whereas the dependents of the
    employee who died in an accident while on a vehicle
    owned by the Appellant-Corporation are not entitled for
    compassionate appointment after claiming compensation
    under Act, the dependents of an employee who died in an
    accident while travelling in a vehicle not owned by the
    Appellant-Corporation are entitled to get compensation
    under the Act against the owner of the vehicle or the
    insurance company as the case may be, as well as a right
    to claim compassionate appointment. The High Court was
    of the opinion that the dependents of employees of the
    Corporation who died due to an accident while travelling in
    a vehicle of the Corporation cannot be treated differently
    from dependents of employees who died in an accident
    while travelling in a vehicle not belonging to the
    Corporation.
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  7. The Corporation has carved out two classes of
    dependents of the deceased employees in respect of
    claims for compassionate appointment. The reason for the
    disqualification of the dependents of an employee who
    died in an accident involving the vehicle of the Corporation
    is to avoid extra burden on the Appellant- Corporation. In
    such cases, the Appellant- Corporation has to pay the
    compensation under the Act and also to provide
    compassionate appointment to the dependents of the
    deceased employee. In a case where the vehicle of the
    Appellant- Corporation is not involved in the accident, the
    compensation under the Act is not the liability of the
    Appellant- Corporation. It cannot be said that the
    dependents of an employee who claim both compensation
    under the Act and compassionate appointment from the
    Appellant- Corporation are on the same footing as the
    dependents of the deceased employee whose claim under
    the Act against a private owner or an insurance company,
    and compassionate appointment from AppellantCorporation.
  8. The dependents of a deceased employee who claim
    compensation from the Corporation under the Act and
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    compassionate appointment from the AppellantCorporation from a separate class. It is well-settled that
    though Article 14 forbids class legislation, it does not forbid
    reasonable classification for the purposes of legislation.
    When any impugned rule or statutory provision is assailed
    on the ground that it contravenes Article 14, its validity
    can be sustained if two tests are satisfied. The first test is
    that the classification on which it is founded must be based
    on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or
    things grouped together from others left out of the group;
    and the second test is that the differentia in question must
    have a reasonable relation to the object sought to be
    achieved by the rule or statutory provision in question.1
  9. Having held that the classification of the two
    categories of dependents of deceased employees is
    reasonable, what remains to be examined is whether there
    is a rationale nexus of the classification with the objective
    sought to be achieved by the Regulations 4(3). The
    intention with which Regulation 4(3) is made is to obviate
    the liability of the Corporation in payment of compensation
    under the Act and to provide compassionate appointment
    to the same person. We find there is a rational nexus
    1 State of Mysore & Anr vs P. Narasing Rao, 1968 SCR (1) 407
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    between the basis of classification and the object sought to
    be achieved by the Regulation.
  10. It is useful to refer to a judgment of this Court in
    National Insurance Company Limited v. Rekhaben
    and Others.
    2
    The question that arose for consideration
    of this Court related to the deduction of salary that was
    earned by the claimant therein after being appointed on
    compassionate grounds while calculating the
    compensation payable to her under the Act for the death
    of her husband. It was held that the salary earned by
    compassionate appointment cannot be deducted from the
    compensation which the claimant is entitled under the Act.
    However, it was made clear that the salary which flowed
    from the compassionate appointment that was provided by
    the tortfeasor was liable to be deducted if the employer
    was the owner of the offending vehicle and thus liable to
    pay compensation under the Act. In other words, the
    employer who has provided compassionate appointment
    can claim deduction of the salary of the dependent while
    calculating if he is liable to pay compensation under the
    Act, being the owner of the offending vehicle.
    2
    (2017) 13 SCC 547
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  11. The two categories of dependents i.e. dependents of
    employees who have died in an accident while travelling in
    a vehicle belonging to the Corporation and dependents of
    the employees who died while travelling in a vehicle not
    belonging to the Corporation are not similarly situated in
    respect of their claims against the Corporation. They
    cannot be treated as equals. Therefore, Regulation 4(3)
    cannot be said to be discriminatory. In the aforementioned
    view, we are not in agreement with the judgment passed
    by the High Court that Regulation 4(3) is violative of Article
    14 of the Constitution.
  12. As the Respondent has received the compensation
    under the Act, he is not entitled for compassionate
    appointment under the Regulations.
  13. In view of the above, the judgment of the High Court
    is set aside the Appeal is allowed.
    Civil Appeal No. 7803 of 2019
    (Arising out of SLP (C) No.13139 of 2017)
    The application preferred by the Respondent for
    compassionate appointment was rejected by the Corporation
    as being not maintainable under Regulation 4(3) of the
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    Regulations, due to the fact that the Respondent has filed a
    claim petition under the Act. The High Court allowed the Writ
    Petition as being covered by a judgment in Civil Writ Petition
    No.13862 of 2014. The Appeal filed by the Corporation is
    allowed in terms of the judgment in Civil Appeal No. 7802 of
    2019 (@ S.L.P.(C) No.4772 of 2017).
    ..……………………………..J.
    [L. NAGESWARA RAO]
    ..……………………………..J.
    [HEMANT GUPTA]
    New Delhi,
    October 04, 2019
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