Read Order: Bharat Singh v. Union of India and Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, February 15, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while dealing with a claim seeking appointment on compassionate grounds, has held that it is a settled legal proposition that compassionate appointment cannot be claimed as a matter of right. 

The Division Bench of Justice G.S. Sandhawalia and Justice Vikas Suri upheld the impugned decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench wherein the claim of compassionate appointment of the petitioner was declined on the dual grounds of the petitioner’s family having sufficient meaning of survival, and the absence of any vested right in the petitioner governing his compassionate appointment. 

The petitioner’s father died in 2014 while serving in the Regional Office of Employees Provident Fund Organization, Government of India. The petitioner made the claim for appointment on compassionate grounds on the basis of the fact that although both of his brothers were working, none of them was helping the family in any manner. The Board, constituted for granting compassionate appointment, invited the petitioner for an interview, however owing to securing less points than the cut off, he was not appointed. 

This decision of the board was challenged before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench, which rejected his claim on the ground that the petitioner’s family was not living in penury. This conclusion was arrived at by the Tribunal based on the fact that two elder brothers of the petitioner were employed; his mother was already getting a basic family pension and she owned a house; and lastly that the right to compassionate appointment was not a vested right. Hence, the High Court was approached impugning this order of the Tribunal. 

The High Court made reference to a plethora of decisions of the Supreme Court on the matter of compassionate appointment, the collective purport of which was that compassionate appointment is a matter of exception to enable the family to tide over the exigencies on account of sudden death of the employee in question and the financial condition of the family has to be kept in mind, and that it is not a vested right. 

Reference was also made to the Top Court in  V.S. Murthi v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2008(4) RSJ 343, wherein it was held that compassionate appointment has to be made in accordance with the rules, regulations and the administrative instructions and also taking into consideration the financial condition of the family of the deceased. 

Coming to the factual situation of the present case, it was held that apart from the pension which the widow was drawing and also owning a residential house, the other children of the widow were well placed and merely because the other sibling (petitioner) was not employed, would not accrue any right for consideration of appointment on compassionate ground. 

Thus, keeping in view the facts and the settled position of law, the order of the Tribunal was upheld and the writ petition was dismissed. 

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