In a first-of-its-kind judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled public posts are not standing crop to be reaped with sickle of compassionate appointment. “Such appointments are an exception to the rule of equality of opportunity,” Justice Rajiv Narain Raina has asserted.Print Page
The ruling came on a petition by Rosy Bhatia against the State of Punjab and other respondents. Her father died in harness in a terrorist attack in 1990 while serving in Ludhiana.
Justice Raina asserted that the basic scheme for compassionate appointments by the Punjab Government was promulgated on November 21, 2002, following a SC decision.
The judgment said the object of compassionate appointment was to enable penurious family of deceased employee to tide over sudden financial crisis; and was not meant to provide employment. Mere death of an employee did not entitle his family to compassionate appointment.
The authority concerned must consider whether deceased employee’s family was unable to meet financial crisis resulting from the employee’s death. Compassionate employment could not be claimed and offered after the crisis was over.
“It appears to this court inappropriate in a poverty stricken country like India to even seriously consider giving such huge concessions to wards of government servants who may have contributed little to society except the good fortune of having secured a government job once upon a time,” Justice Raina said.
Referring to the case in hand, Justice Raina observed that the petitioner applied for compassionate appointment in her father’s place by placing reliance on instructions dated July 3, 2008. The instrument gave her renewed opportunity to apply for compassionate appointment within a year from date of attaining employable age and possessing minimum educational qualification.
Dismissing the petition, Justice Raina asserted 2008 instructions were a special provision extending limitations in special cases. “The petitioner claimed herself to be one among three siblings, of which two are married and settled in their matrimonial homes. The mother obviously did not apply for compassionate appointment and was satisfied with family pension to raise the family. There is nothing stated in the body of the petition as to the financial status of the petitioner and her mother whether it is penurious still,” he said.
What court said
The judgment said the object of compassionate appointment was to enable penurious family of deceased employee to tide over sudden financial crisis; and was not meant to provide employment. Mere death of an employee did not entitle his family to compassionate appointment