Read Order: Sudhir V. State Of Haryana And Others 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 24, 2022: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted the relief of appointment on compassionate grounds to the petitioner whose father died while being in service when petitioner was about 9 years of age and held that Rule 4 of Haryana Compassionate Assistance to the Dependents of Deceased Government Employees Rules, 2003 is relaxable in terms of Rule 18 wherein it is stipulated that the claim of the appointment of orphans shall remain alive till the child has attained the minimum eligibility age for entry into government service

The petitioner became an orphan by the age of nine and was taken care of by his uncle along with his sister, thus, the Bench of Justice Anupinder Singh Grewal held, “It is indeed a very unfortunate case where the petitioner had already lost his mother. He thereafter lost his father who was in government service when the petitioner was barely 9 years of age. It would, thus, also be equitable that the petitioner be considered for compassionate appointment in terms of the Rules.”

Further, the Bench, in reaching this conclusion, took into consideration the following, “He had applied [for compassionate appointment] shortly after 3 years of attaining majority. Rule 4 stipulates that the dependent of the deceased employee has to apply within three years from the death of the employee. However, this Rule is relaxable in terms of Rule 18 wherein it is stipulated that the claim of the appointment of orphans shall remain alive till the child has attained the minimum eligibility age for entry into government service.”

In the instant petition, the petitioner sought his appointment on compassionate grounds on account of the death of his father while in service. 

The petitioner was about 9 years of age when his father expired while in service on September 05, 2003, while his mother had already died in the year 1998. Thus, owing to these circumstances, the petitioner applied for an appointment on compassionate grounds on attaining the age majority but no decision hitherto was taken by the respondents- Bank on the ground that an ex-gratia amount of Rs.2,50,000/- was disbursed to the petitioner and his sister in the shape of fixed deposits for Rs.1,25,000/- each. 

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner was ready to return the ex-gratia amount which he had received in the event of his getting an appointment on compassionate grounds. He also contended that the case of the petitioner would be covered by the 2003 Rules which was also applicable to the respondent-Bank. He further stated that the petitioner also applied after 3 years of his attaining majority and therefore, his application was also time-barred.

After considering the factual situation of the case, the Court observed that the case of the petitioner for compassionate appointment would be covered by the Rules framed by the respondents on February 28, 2003, which provided that the family members of the deceased employee could opt for ex-gratia appointment on compassionate grounds to a member of the family who was “completely dependent” on the deceased employee and in extreme financial distress due to the loss of the deceased (the Government employee who died in “harness”). 

The Rules also provided for an alternative for the family to take ex-gratia compassionate financial assistance to the family of the deceased, over and above all other benefits like ex-gratia grant due to his family to be paid @ 2.5 lacs, in cases where the family of the deceased does not opt for ex-gratia employment. 

It came to the notice of the Court that in 2003, the petitioner’s grandmother applied for a job for the uncle of the petitioner, who took care of the petitioner and his sister, however, the same was denied by the respondent. 

Thus, in light, the Court observed that the petitioner was only 9 years of age at the time of the death of his father and he, therefore, could not exercise any option with regard to compassionate appointment or payment of ex-gratia amount, rather the appointment was sought for the uncle of the petitioner by his grandmother. Further, the Court held that a decision for opting for ex-gratia instead of a compassionate appointment was not in the best interest of the child and would not be binding upon him. 

Additionally, the Court observed that the petitioner, shortly after 3 years of attaining the age of majority, sought an appointment on compassionate grounds. In this regard, the Court observed that although Rule 4 stipulates that the dependents of the deceased employee have to apply within three years from the death of the employee, however, the Rule is relaxable in terms of Rule 18 wherein it is stipulated that the claim of the appointment of orphans shall remain alive till the child has attained the minimum eligibility age for entry into government service.

Reference in this regard was made to the case of Kumari Bandana Sharma Vs. State of Haryana and Others, wherein the petitioner therein had applied for compassionate appointment after three years of attaining majority. It was held by the Division Bench that the case of the petitioner therein would be considered by relaxing the Rules and without insisting upon the period within which she was required to apply. 

Considering the plight of the petitioner who lost both his parents while he was just 9-years old, the Court held that it would thus be equitable to consider the petitioner for compassionate appointment in terms of the Rules.

Consequently, the petition was allowed. The case of the petitioner was directed to be considered for compassionate appointment in terms of the 2003 Rules. The delay in applying was condoned and the needful was directed to be done within two months. In the event of the petitioner being offered an appointment on compassionate grounds, he would reimburse his share of the ex-gratia amount, the Court held. 

0 CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment