Vivek Gupta

Chandigarh, August 3, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected a plea seeking compassionate appointment in government service on account of the death of the petitioner’s father.

The bench of Justice Arun Monga noted that the petitioner made too much delay in seeking ex-gratia benefit. Therefore, no grounds to interfere can be made in view of the inexplicable and inordinate delay.

The brief fact of the case is that the petitioner’s father who was working as a peon died in 2011. At that time, the petitioner was 23 years old. Though fully eligible to have applied as per the ex-gratia compassionate employment policy, the petitioner did not file any formal application seeking employment under the policy, the high court noted.

“There are bald averments in the petition that he had approached the competent authority with the request that he be given compassionate appointment though no proof thereof has been appended with the petition,” the Bench said.

“After maintaining the stoic silence for almost a decade, the petitioner finally gave a written representation dated 1-02-2021 as pleaded in the petition herein. Since the same has not been averted, apparently being time barred, the petitioner has now preferred the court proceedings,” it further said.

Deciding the matter, the bench stated, “I am of view that the same don’t make out a case of indulgence under extraordinary writ jurisdiction.”

The bench further said that, “Compassionate appointment is not to be constructed as some kind of reservation, so as to entitle a family member to seek appointment as a matter of right at any stage”.

In any case, had there been an application or representation immediately after the death of a serving employee, the case of the petitioner could perhaps have been considered keeping in view the real intent and spirit of the policy, i.e. immediate amelioration of financial crisis caused by sudden death of an earning member/bread winner of the family, the high court observed. 

The petitioner is currently 33 year old and even otherwise seems to be beyond the age of employment as per the government norms of eligibility of upper age, it said.

The bench added that that counsel’s petitioner submitted that the petitioner is a graduate and it is highly probable that being a graduate at the time of the death of his father, he knew that at the most he will get a class four job of a peon and perhaps did not want to work as such and therefore in his wisdom did not apply.

“Be that as it may, having acquiesced for more than nine years, the petitioner approached vide representation dated 01-020-2021, the same is only reflective of the fact that there was no penury of the kind at the time of death, to seek compassionate appointment. It seems that having tried his luck elsewhere all these years, when the petitioner was unable to get any other job commensurate with his education, he has now belatedly approached the department. No grounds to interfere are made out in view of the explicable and inordinate delay,” the bench added. 

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