Whole Object of Granting Compassionate Employment is to enable the Family to tide over Sudden Crisis: Supreme Court

Whole Object of Granting Compassionate Employment is to enable the Family to tide over Sudden Crisis: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that the whole object of granting compassionate employment is, thus, to enable the family to tide over the sudden crisis. 

Background 

The father of the respondent was in the clerical cadre serving with the appellants. He died in harness. After his death, his wife, i.e., mother of the respondent was appointed on compassionate grounds. 

However, she died while in service. That thereafter the elder sister of the respondent namely Sangita M. Thonge made an application for seeking appointment on compassionate grounds. The said application was rejected on the ground that she cannot be given the appointment on compassionate ground as she is a married daughter. Compa

Thereafter the State Government issued a Government Circular, according to which the employment was to be provided to one of the legal heirs and representatives of the deceased government servant on compassionate grounds. 

Issue raised 

Whether in the facts and circumstances of the case narrated hereinabove, the respondent shall be entitled to the appointment on compassionate ground?

Decision 

The division bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice Krishna Murari said that as per the law laid down by the Court in the 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 bench observed that compassionate appointment is an exception to the general rule of appointment in the public services and is in favour of the dependents of a deceased dying in harness and leaving his family in penury and without any means of livelihood, and in such cases, out of pure humanitarian consideration taking into consideration the fact that unless some source of livelihood is provided, the family would not be able to make both ends meet, a provision is made in the rules to provide gainful employment to one of the dependants of the deceased who may be eligible for such employment.

It was further added by the court that the whole object of granting compassionate employment is, thus, to enable the family to tide over the sudden crisis. The object is not to give such family a post much less a post held by the deceased. 

“To appoint the respondent now on compassionate ground shall be contrary to the object and purpose of appointment on compassionate ground. The respondent cannot be said to be dependent on the deceased employee, i.e., her mother. Even otherwise, she shall not be entitled to appointment on compassionate ground after a number of years from the death of the deceased employee” the court stated.

The court held that the judgment and order passed by the Tribunal confirmed by the High Court directing the appellants to consider the case of the respondent for appointment on compassionate ground after a number of years is unsustainable.  

Case title: The State of Maharashtra and Anr. v/s Ms. Madhuri Maruti Vidhate 

Citation: Civil appeal no. 6938 of 2022

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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