The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently issued a directive to the State government, to provide compassionate appointment to an individual who tragically lost his parents in a road accident almost three decades ago.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Vinay Saraf was dealing with a Writ Petition challenging an order passed by the Chief Engineer Water Resources Department, Bhopal whereby the representation submitted by the petitioner for grant of compassionate appointment was rejected.

The Petitioner apprised the High Court that his father was working in Upper Poorva Nahar UP-Sambhag 3 Rewa who died in harness in 1994 in a road accident and in the same road accident, his mother also died. It was the submission that at that time, the petitioner was just 9 years old. It was further submitted that the Petitioner applied for a compassionate appointment in 2001 on humanitarian grounds along with the required documents however it was stated that there is no vacancy of Assistant Grade III and therefore, the compassionate appointment was not given to the petitioner.

On the other hand, the State submitted that the petitioner is not entitled to compassionate appointment as he applied after the expiry of seven years period from the date of death of his father. It was also submitted that no post lying vacant of Assistant Grade III under the general category and therefore, the appointment to the post of Assistant Grade III cannot be granted, however, the petitioner was offered the post of Samvida Shala Shikshak on a contract basis but the same was not accepted by the petitioner therefore, his case has been closed.

The State also contended that the petitioner could survive for a long time after the death of his father and it appears that no financial help was required to the petitioner and consequently the petitioner is not entitled to the compassionate appointment.

Considering the submissions, the Court dismissed the State's contention that Shukla should have sought a compassionate appointment within seven years of his father's demise. The Court labelled the argument as "misconceived," the Court considered a 2004 circular from the General Administration Department (GAD) circular which permitted a dependent minor to apply for compassionate appointment within one year of reaching the age of majority.

The Court noted, "The second contention of respondents that no vacant post of Assistant Grade II or III was available therefore, the petitioner was offered the Samvida Shala Shikshak on contract basis but as the same was not accepted by the petitioner therefore, this case was closed and returned back to Commissioner, Rewa Division, Rewa, is also not according to the spirit of the policy. The petitioner is entitled for the compassionate appointment on the regular vacant post and he cannot be offered the contractual appointment. The Division Bench in the matter of Dharmendra Kumar Tripathi (supra) has held that compassionate appointment should be on the regular vacant post and even by granting the contractual appointment, the requirement for grant of compassionate appointment will not be satisfied. Therefore, the petitioner could not have been offered the contractual appointment, however, if he has not accepted the same, no adverse effect will be attributed to the prayer of the petitioner for compassionate appointment."

The Court also added, "The third contention raised by the respondents that petitioner could survive for such a long period and therefore, he is not in need of financial assistance and in these circumstances he is not entitled to compassionate appointment is also not acceptable. The Apex Court in the case of Ganesh Shankar Shukla (supra) has held that even when the applicant had survived on financial support of relatives, the respondents cannot raise or justify a technical plea that the applicant is not in need of financial assistance therefore, there is no need to grant the compassionate appointment. The respondents in the present case have not come with a specific plea that petitioner is engaged in another job or earning well, on the contrary when the petitioner applied for compassionate appointment, he was just 18 years old and he was not earning at all. The petitioner cannot be penalized for keeping pending his application for compassionate appointment for a long period and the respondents cannot claim the advantage of the same. The matter remain pending not due to the fault of the petitioner."

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition and directed the Respondents to grant the compassionate appointment to the petitioner as per his eligibility within a period of three months.

Cause Title: Rohit Shukla v. State Of Madhya Pradesh & Ors. [WRIT PETITION No. 472 of 2016]

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