Can a woman acquire permanent residence of a State by virtue of her marriage?
Can a woman acquire permanent residence of a State by virtue of her marriage? Till date, it could not be possible, but the Supreme Court has made an exception to this rule.
In a recent case the apex court allowed a woman to take a job in the State judicial service of Uttarakhand after a Government order passed in 2001 held her ineligible on grounds of domicile.
The State Government did not recognise her as a resident of Uttarakhand as she acquired it by virtue of her marriage to a permanent resident of the State.
What scuttled her chances of getting appointed was another qualification clause contained in the 2001 order that required a candidate to have 15 years of domicile in the State. By no means this could be possible as the State of Uttarakhand came into existence just nine years ago.
Placed with these unique facts, the Bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam allowed the petitioner, Jyoti Bala to enroll herself with the Uttarakhand Public Services Commission which could entitle her a job in the lower judiciary.
The Uttarakhand Public Service Commission had resisted Bala's entitlement for employment by raising questions over her scheduled caste status. Being a resident of Uttar Pradesh, Bala was a Jatav (SC). In 1998, she got married to a Jatav, a resident of Kashipur (presently in Uttaranchal).
The State maintained that being originally a Jatav of Uttar Pradesh, she was not entitled for claiming job against the SC reserved seats in Uttarakhand. But her counsel Shweta Bharti was swift to point out to the Court an order issued by the Uttarakhand Government in 2004 stating that for purposes of reservation in jobs, the SC list of UP would be considered for employment in the State.
The Uttarakhand High Court, too, had gone into the issue and had ordered on December 16 last to appoint Bala at the earliest. It was against this order, the State Government came in appeal before the Supreme Court.
Blasting the State Government for raising unreasonable grounds to deny job to an SC candidate, the Bench said, "Your State came into existence in 2000. Moreover, she married in 1998 and continues to live with her husband." For the Court, this was sufficient proof to vindicate Bala's right to domicile.
The Court observed, "The basic law even under international law on domicile remains the same," adding, "You (Uttarakhand Government) cannot change it by a notification." Noting the peculiar facts of the case as it pertained to Uttarakhand, where the domicile clause of 15 years was not attainable, the Court recorded this would be an exception.