Not Entitled To Compassionate Appointment After 24 Years From Father's Death: SC Sets Aside Kerala HC's Order
The Supreme Court has set aside the order passed by the Kerala High Court directing reconsideration of a woman's plea for appointment on compassionate grounds 24 years after the death of her father.
"After a period of 24 years from the death of the deceased employee, the respondent shall not be entitled to the appointment on compassionate ground.", the bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari observed.
In this case, the applicant-woman's father was serving as a loading helper. He died in the year 1995. At the relevant time, the widow of the deceased employee was serving in the Kerala State Health Services Department and, therefore, as such was not eligible or entitled for appointment on compassionate ground.
After a period of 14 years, after the death of the deceased employee, the daughter of the deceased employee made a representation seeking appointment on compassionate basis. However, her application was rejected.
The rejection of the application for compassionate appointment was the subject matter of writ petition before the Single Judge. The Single Judge disposed of the writ petition with the directions to the employer to reconsider the application of the applicant-woman in accordance with Clause 1 of the Scheme for employment of dependents of the employees dying in harness.
Her application was rejected again after reconsideration.
Feeling aggrieved, the daughter of the deceased employee filed a writ petition before the High Court.
The Single Judge allowed the said writ petition and directed the appellants to reconsider the claim of the deceased employee's daughter strictly in terms of the observations and directions passed in the earlier round of litigation.
The Division Bench had dismissed the appeal against the Order of the Single Judge.
Aggrieved original appellants – Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. and Ors. approached Supreme Court.
Advocate Siddharth Jha appeared on behalf of the appellants whereas Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh appeared on behalf of the respondent-daughter of the deceased employee.
The Supreme Court observed that "As per the law laid down by this Court in catena of decisions on the appointment on compassionate ground, for all the government vacancies equal opportunity should be provided to all aspirants as mandated under Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. However, appointment on compassionate ground offered to a dependent of a deceased employee is an exception to the said norms. The compassionate ground is a concession and not a right."
The Court held that considering the object and purpose for which the appointment on compassionate ground is provided, the daughter of the deceased employee shall not be entitled to the appointment on compassionate ground on the death of her father who died in the year 1995.
"If such an appointment is made now and/or after a period of 14/24 years, the same shall be against the object and purpose for which the appointment on compassionate ground is provided.", the Court noted.
Accordingly, the Judgment and Order passed by the Single Judge as well as the Division Bench of the High Court were quashed and set aside.
Cause Title- Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. & Ors. v. Anusree K.B.