The Compassionate Appointment Has Certain Conditions: In Gauhati High Court

Compassionate appointment if a missing government employee is not automatic and must meet specific criteria, such as a vacancy, fulfilling the conditions laid down. The High Court Of Gauhati upheld this through a Single Learned Bench MR. JUSTICE SOUMITRA SAIKIA in RAJU PATOWARY V. THE STATE OF ASSAM AND 5 ORS. (WA/280/2021).

Facts of the Case – The appellant’s late father worked as a ‘Gram Sevak’ for the Assam government’s Department of Panchayat and Rural Development’s Chamaria Development Block. On September 27, 2011, the appellant’s father, late Kumud Patowary, died in captivity. The appellant submitted his application for a compassionate appointment on November 25, 2011, in response to the loss of his father. His application was then sent to the Government of Assam’s District Level Committee for compassionate appointment consideration. The District Level Committee denied his case due to a lack of openings. His case was heard again by a District Level Committee on September 28, 2012, and his candidacy was denied because he was unqualified for the position of ‘Gram Sevak.’ As a result of the District Level Committee’s rejection of his candidacy for the second time. Since no judgment had been reached on the applicant’s application, he filed a writ petition with this Court.

The proposal was denied in the appellant’s case because the deceased father of the appellant did not meet the requirements of “3 Years of Service” of the deceased employee as outlined in Government O.M. No. ABP 50/2006/Pt/182 dated 01.06.2015. The present writ appeal has been filed because the plaintiff has been wronged.

The learned counsel for the writ appellant contends that the authorities first denied the petitioner’s application due to a lack of vacancy. It was noted in the minutes that his case would be addressed as and when the vacancy occurred. The appellant’s skilled counsel contends that the authorities could not have rejected the appellant’s plea for a compassionate appointment three times based on three different grounds.

Mr. M. Nath, learned counsel for respondent Nos. 2, 3, 4 & 6, contends that the appellant’s consideration for appointment on compassionate grounds dates from 2011 and that as the same was refused in 2012, the appellant could not have filed a new application. The appellant has also failed to present evidence that the new application was submitted on the Department’s request or advice.

The Department’s learned counsel refutes such assertions made by the appellant’s skilled counsel. The learned counsel for the respondents cites this Court’s judgment in Achyut Ranjan Das and Ors. V. State of Assam and Ors., reported in 2006 4 GLT 674, in which this Court established specific rules for considering compassionate appointment cases across multiple ministries in Assam.

The Learned Judge sees that compassionate appointments are no longer Res Integra to help the family members of the dead employee cope with the immediate hardship and tragedy that has befallen them as a result of the death of the family’s lone earner. As a result, the primary goal of the compassionate appointment program is to help the family cope with the immediate difficulty created by the death of a family member who worked for the Department. According to the legislation put forth by the Apex Court in this case, the purpose of a program is not to provide any member of the family a job, much less a position held by a deceased relative. In this regard, the law established by the Apex Court in Umesh Kumar Nagpal V. State of Haryana and Ors., reported in (1994) 4 SCC 138, and the Apex Court’s subsequent decisions are relevant.

In light of the preceding arguments and light of the law established by the Apex Court and this Court in the Achyut Ranjan Das case, the Judge finds no flaw in the order entered by the learned Single Judge, resulting in the appeal having no merit.

Click here to view the Judgement

Reviewed by Rangasree.

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