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In cases of compassionate appointment, the authorities must be sensitive and thoughtful: Bombay High Court

In cases of compassionate appointment, not only the authorities but also the tribunal is required to be more careful, sensitive and live to the human considerations and adopt a cautious approach before denying benefit under the compassionate appointment, provisions. A division bench of Justice Sunil P Deshmukh and Justice G S Kulkarni, while adjudicating the matter in Shri Nikhil Maruti Gosarde v. The District Collector, [WP 1071 of 2019]; dealt with the issue of the grounds for compassionate appointment.

In the year 1985, petitioner’s father entered State Government service, as a Clerk in the Office of District Collector at Sangli. As stated before the tribunal, his entire service tenure was unblemished. By an order dated 11 June 2013, issued in favour of late Maruti, he was granted an ad-hoc promotion to the post of Election Naib Tahsildar (a Group B post) and was so posted at Mangalweda, District Solapur. On 7 December 2016, Maruti expired in harness, in an accident. A certificate was also issued by the Tehsil office, Mangalweda on 2 January, 2017, certifying that ‘late Maruti-Election Naib Tahsildar, expired while on duty’. Late Maruti left behind him, his legal heirs wife(widow), son (petitioner) and daughter (married daughter). As a consequence of the sudden death of the sole breadwinner, late Maruti’s family was left in a financial crisis, affecting their very livelihood. In an attempt to tide over such crisis, the petitioner being the only family member who could take up an employment, submitted an application with the respondents for compassionate appointment on the post of “a Clerk” in the office of respondent no.2. Such application was made on 23 December, 2016. Another dated 28 December, 2016, was submitted by him in the office of respondent no. 3-Divisional Commissioner (Revenue Camp) at Pune. Such application for compassionate appointment was made by the petitioner without delay and/or immediately after the death of his late father Maruti. Respondent no. 3, however, by a communication dated 20 January, 2017, rejected the petitioner’s application for compassionate appointment, recording that as his late father was promoted as ‘Election Naib Tahsildar’, which was on a Group ‘B’ post, as held by him at the time of his death, the petitioner was not eligible for compassionate appointment. The reason being, such appointment cannot be made when the employees who belong to Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ die in harness. Thus, the writ petition was filed by the aggrieved in the instant case.

The Court upon considering the aforesaid facts stated that; “This is a case of gross injustice meted out to the petitioner firstly at the hands of the Divisional Commissioner on two occasions, and thereafter his fate before the tribunal, was no different. In cases of compassionate appointment, not only the authorities but also the tribunal is required to be more careful, sensitive and live to the human considerations and adopt a cautious approach before denying benefit under the compassionate appointment, provisions. The tribunal, in the present case, has grossly erred in confirming the decision of respondent no.3, that the petitioner was not entitled to maintain his application for compassionate appointment as his late father belonged to the Group B category of Government Servants, merely on the basis of ad-hoc promotional order. The petitioner was entitled to maintain his application for compassionate appointment”

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