Compassionate appointments: India

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Dependent, married daughters covered by dying in harness rule: HC

The Times of India, Dec 05 2015

Rajesh Kumar Pandey

If dependent, married girls eligible for jobs  The Allahabad high court ruled that married daughters are also entitled to jobs under the dyingin-harness rule. According to the rule, in case a government employee dies during service, his or her dependants will be given a job.

Allowing a writ petition filed by Vimla Srivastava of Azamgarh, a division bench of Chief Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud and justice Yashwant Varma held that the exclusion of married daughters from the ambit of `family' of UP Recruitment of Dependants of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974 is illegal and unconstitutional.

“Excluding daughter on the ground of marriage will violate the principles laid down under Article 16 of the Constitution (equality of opportunity in the matters of public employment),“ the court said, adding that no ci tizen can be discriminated on the grounds of gender.

The HC said if a son con tinues to be a son before and after marriage, the daughter also remains the same before and after marriage. There fore, it was not proper to deny equal benefits to daughters.

The court directed the state authorities to consider the claims of married daughters for compassionate appoint ments just like that of unmarried and divorced daughters.

The petitioner had moved the court challenging the validity of a clause in the UP Recruitment of Dependants of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules. Her father, an employee in the revenue department in Azamgarh, had died while on duty.

The Azamgarh district magistrate had rejected the petitioner's claim for appointment.

Compassionate job for married girl only with mother’s nod: SC

Dhananjay Mahapatra, April 6, 2022: The Times of India

New Delhi: In a significant decision, the Supreme Court rejected a married daughter’s plea for compassionate employment plea after the demise of her government servant father on the ground that she has not been sponsored by her widowed mother.

The daughter had a running property dispute with her mother and brother and the case is still pending. The daughter applied for compassionate employment after her brother, who was sponsored by the widow of the deceased government employee, was found unfit. However, authorities turned down her plea because her candidature had not been sponsored by widow. 
Appearing for the married daughter, advocate Dushyant Parashar argued before a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and C T Ravikumar that the SC had in 2021 in its judgment State of Karnataka vs C N Apoorva had ruled that married daughters are eligible for compassionate employment.

But, the bench said despite the ruling of the apex court, what stood in her way was the provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Rules governing compassionate employment for children of deceased government servant, which mandated that only that adult child sponsored by widow would be entitled to be considered for such employment to a post for which she/he is eligible.

Parashar argued that following the 2021 judgment of the apex court, a married daughter had an independent right for being considered for compassionate employment.

‘Illegitimate’ son entitled to compassionate job appointment/ HC:

March 14, 2022: The Times of India

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh HC has held that an ‘illegitimate’ son is also entitled to be considered for compassionate job appointment following the death of the father.

The HC benchallowed a petition filed by Piyush Kumar Anchal, and directed the Chhattisgarh State Warehousing Corporation to consider his application for compassionate appointment. Anchal had moved the court after the corporation rejected his application on the ground that he had not filed avalid succession certificate.

According to the petition, junior assistant Mohan Lal Anchal worked at a Pratappur branchs of the warehousing corporation and died due to Covid. Piyush moved HC, stating that he was the son of Mohan’s second wife and hence applied for compassionate appointment. Suresh Kumar Anchal, the son of Mohan’s first wife, had also claimed compassionate appointment. Piyush submitted in his petition that his mother’s name was recorded in the nomination form submitted by his father. 
 The HC said a policy “cannot discriminate against a person only on the ground of descent by classifying children of the deceased employee as legitimate and illegitimate and recognizing only the right of legitimate descendant”. TNN

Married daughters: cannot be denied: HC

Lalmohan Patnaik TNN, March 2, 2024: The Times of India

Cuttack:A married daughter cannot be barred from a job meant to be provided on compassionate grounds, Orissa high court has ruled, junking as “discriminatory” a state circular that kept women out of such employment over her marital status. 
A single-judge bench of Justice SK Panigrahi ordered Seemarani Pandab to be considered afresh for the job in place of her father who had died while serving as a physical education teacher (PET) in a Bhadrak govt school.

Justice SK Panigrahi also directed Odisha authorities to consider Pandab’s applicat ion from the day it was first made in 2013 and not let her current age be an inhibiting factor. Pandab was denied the job citing 2010 govt circular which prohibited married daughters from getting benefits of compassionate recruitment.

“A policy of disqualifying a married daughter and excluding her from consideration, apart from being arbitrary and discriminating, is a retrograde step of state govt as welfare state, on which stamp of approval cannot be given by this court,” Justice Panigrahi said in his Feb 27 judgment.

The judge maintained that the yardstick for compassionate appointment should be the dependency of dependants on the deceased govt servant, and marital status should not be an impediment.

Justice Panigrahi specified that such a bar was “plainly arbitrary and violative of constitutional guarantees, as envisaged in Articles 14, 15, and 16(2) of the Constitution”, which pertain to equality and equal opportunity.

“Since about 11 years have passed and many years have been spent in litigation, in the interest of justice and fair play, the age of the petitioner shall not be a factor in considering her for a suitable job,” HC said.

Stepsons are entitled to compassionate appointment: HC

Aheli Banerjee, August 20, 2023: The Times of India

Kolkata : The Calcutta high court has said that the stepson of a government employee is entitled to compassionate appointment on the death of the employee.

The petitioner in this case was a man born out of wedlock to a Kolkata police traffic constable. He was subsequently “adopted” by his biological father. The petitioner claimed he had applied for a job on compassionate grounds after his adoptive father passed away, but was denied because the adoption was never formalised. Justices Debangshu Basak and Mohammed Shabbar Rashidi observed that the word “son” had to include a biological son, stepson, adopted son as well as a son born out of wedlock.

The petitioner’s mother, Bina Kar, had given birth to both him and his sister in 1981, out of wed lock, while she had been legally married to one Ganesh Chandra Saha. Saha died in 1989 and thereafter Bina married constable Bhola Nath Kar the following year. After Kar died in 2003, while in service, the petitioner applied for compassionate appointment. After finding out that Bhola Nath had not adopted the petitioner, the authorities declared in 2011 that they would not be able to offer employment on compassionate grounds. “Limiting the meaning of ‘son’ only to biological or adopted (sons) would be incorrect,” the judges observed on Monday. “The word ‘son’ would include stepson as much as it would include a biological, adopted or illegitimate son.” The court also held that such a limited definition would violate Article 16(2) of the Constitution, which says no citizen shall be eligible for or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the state on grounds of descent, among others.

The advocate for the state of West Bengal argued that according to the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, an adopted son of a government employee would come under the meaning of ‘son’. The court dismissed this line of argument, saying, “Compassionate appointment is not a hereditary right” so recourse to the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act was baseless.

Sisters not eligible

Sep 15, 2023: The Times of India

Bengaluru : Asister does not figure in the definition of “family” under the Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules, 1999, the Karnataka HC noted recently, dismissing the claim of a woman who sought “compassionate appointment” in place of her brother who had died while on duty in 2016.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit pointed out that rule 2(1) (b) stipulates that in case of a deceased male government servant, his widow, son or daughter, who are dependent and are living with him, will be considered family members.

The HC further said no material was placed on record to show the appellant was dependent on the income of her brother, nor was there any evidence of the deceased’s family being in financial distress that would justify her claim.

The legal position

Compassionate ground no guarantee for job: HC


From the archives of The Times of India 2007, 2009

New Delhi: The Delhi high court has held a person cannot claim appointment on compassionate grounds as a matter of right. The court said that appointment has to be given in cases of financial hardship.

The court’s remarks came on a petition filed by Bimla Devi against the decision of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that has declined to appoint her younger son on compassionate grounds after the death of her husband who was employed as an assistant in the President’s secretariat.

‘‘Compassionate appointment is not to be given when there is no financial hardship. Compassionate appointment, it is well settled, is not a source of a recruitment nor it can be claimed as a matter of right,’’ said the bench of Justice Anil Kumar and Justice Mool Chand Garg said.

Opposing the plea of Bimla Devi, the secretariat had said she had already received Rs 7,41,673 as retirement benefits and that her daughter-in-law was employed. Interpreting the provisions of compassionate appointment under the law, the court said the underlying object of such scheme is to prevent the family of a government servant from financial destitution.

A concession , not a right

April 11, 2022: The Times of India

Madurai: Dismissing a plea by a woman seeking compassionate appointment in a government job to her daughter after her father’s death, the Madras high court observed that the scheme is a concession an d cannot be claimed as a matter of right. Justice S M Subramaniam observed that the compassionate appointment scheme was introduced to mitigate circumstances arising on account of sudden demise of a government employee. It is not a regular appointment, n or an appointment under the constitutional scheme. It is a concession granted to government employees on certain exceptio nal circumstances. The court made the observations while dismissing the petition filed by M Suguna. The petitioner’s husband who was working as a field assistant in the land survey department in Theni district of Tamil Nadu died in 2015. The petitioner had submitted an application seeking employment to her daughter. Taking into account that the petitioner’s daughter was am inor, authorities had rejected the application. After completing 18 years of age, the daughter submitted an application in 2019. But the plea was rejected because it was submitted after the stipulated three-year period from the death of the employee. Challenging the rejection order, the petitioner moved the HC’s Madurai bench. The judge observed that equal opportunity in public employment is a constitutional mandate. All appointments are to be made in accordance with the rules and by providing equal opportunity to participate in the process of selection.

Insofar as the compassionate app ointments are concerned, no selection is conducted, suitability or eligibility are not tested, but people are appointed merely based on the death of an employee. Therefore, compassionate appointment is to be restricted in the interest of the efficient public administration, observed the judge.

Sister can replace brother

Rosy Sequeira, May 11, 2023: The Times of India

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has ruled that a sister can substitute for her brother on the waitlist for a government job on compassionate grounds. Shubhangi's father, a senior clerk with the Nashik Municipal Corporation, died on April 21, 2014 while in service.

In May 2014 her brother Gouresh applied for a job in his place. Shubhangi who graduated in 2018, requested the NMC to substitute her name in place of her brother on June 5, 2021 with her brother's consent.

However, soon afterwards NMC asked Gouresh to submit documents to confirm his candidature on the waitlist. His sister's petition said this letter amounted to a rejection of her request and she challenged it.

NMC replied that Gouresh's name was notified at number 22 on a waitlist of 202 candidates. It contended that by a September 21, 2017 Government Resolution, the policy for compassionate appointment had no provision for substituting the name of a candidate, except in the event of a death. Shubhangi's advocate Yashodeep Deshmukh argued that her brother had taken up another job as he had not got an appointment in all the years since their father's death. He said Shubhangi needed the job as she was taking care of her old mother.

Deshmukh cited a February 2017 order of Aurangabad bench, in Mohd Zakiyoddin's case, in respect of a similar 2015 Government Resolution that restricted substitution of the name of a candidate on a waitlist for appointment on compassionate grounds.

Justices Ramesh Dhanuka and Gauri Godse said the HC had then taken a view that such restriction amounts to making it impossible to implement the appointment policy.

It had set aside the decision not to substitute the name of an applicant on the waitlist. "The principles laid down in the case of Mohd Zakiyoddin squarely apply to the facts of the present case," they held, and quashed the Nashik Municipal Corporation's June 22, 2021 communication.

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