Compassionate appointment not maintainable years after employee’s death: J&K HC
Srinagar: Grant of compassionate appointment (in government service) long after the death of an employee on the ground that the legal claimant of the appointment was minor at the relevant time goes against the essence of law, the J&K High Court has said.
Hearing a case in which the father of the petitioner died in harness of duty in 1987 when the petitioner was only eight-years-old, Justices Rajnesh Oswal and Sanjeev Kumar said that attaining maturity after a long period of time does not enable a claimant for appointment on compassionate grounds in government service.
“The grant of compassionate appointment long after the death of deceased employee on the ground that the beneficiary claiming appointment was minor at the relevant time and attained maturity after a considerable period of time, goes against the object of making compassionate appointments and, is therefore, not permissible in law,” said the bench.
The petitioner passed his middle standard examination in 1993. He accordingly, submitted an application in the concerned department for compassionate appointment.
The claim was found to be belated and was thus not considered by the government.
The petitioner approached court seeking direction to the government to appoint him on compassionate basis.
The petition was dismissed by a single judge bench saying – in terms of SRO 43 of 1994, the writ petitioner had not acquired the requisite minimum qualification within six months from the date of his father’s death.
Aggrieved, he threw challenge to the judgment and his appeal was allowed by a division bench.
The bench directed the concerned department to consider the case in terms of the rules as were in vogue at the time of death of the deceased employee and not as per SRO 43 of 1994, promulgated later.
The judgment was, however, not immediately complied which constrained the appointment seeker to file contempt petition.
On being put on notice, the government placed on record the consideration order rejecting the claim of the writ petitioner for compassionate appointment.
The rejection order issued by the government became subject matter of challenge in terms of the judgment impugned in an appeal.
The court directed the appellants (government) to appoint the writ petitioner on any Class-IV post on compassionate basis within a period of six weeks.
The appellants being dissatisfied filed an appeal, primarily, on the ground that the court has not correctly appreciated the clear provision made in SRO 122 of 1983, which was in force at the time of death of deceased father of the writ petitioner.
The writ petitioner at the time of death of the deceased employee required age relaxation of 10 years which was not permissible under SRO 22 of 1983, the government said.
Justices Rajnesh Oswal and Sanjeev Kumar after hearing the matter concluded that some 33 years have gone by and the family which might have plunged into financial crisis due to the death of its breadwinner, has tide over the crisis and survived for all these years.
“Offering appointment to the writ petitioner at this stage would be contrary to the object underlying the scheme of compassionate appointment though statutorily recognized by the appellants,” they said.
“As is well settled, the compassionate appointment to the dependents in lieu of death of their breadwinner (employee) is not another source of recruitment but is given for a specific purpose and to give succour to the family of the deceased employee so that they could come out of the loss of their breadwinner and lead a life of dignity,” they observed.
Judgment passed by the Writ Court in favor of the petitioner (directing his appointment) was set aside by the two judges.