DATE OF JUDGEMENT
NOVEMBER 18, 2021
Justice MR Shah
Justice Sanjiv Khanna
Appellant- The State of Madya Pradesh and Others
Respondent- Ashish Awasthi, Baalendu Yadav
On the subject of compassionate appointments, it was held by the Apex Court that the policy that is relevant at the time of the death of the employee is applicable and not any subsequent policies after his death.
Scheme for compassionate appointment- This programmed provides a compassionate appointment to a family member of a government employee who is financially dependent on him. This is granted when an employee dies in the workplace or is forced to retire due to medical reasons, leaving his family without a source of income.
- The respondent’s father worked as a Chowkidar in the office of Assistant Engineer, Public Health Engineer, District Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh. He was working as a work charge and was paid salary from the contingency fund. He died on 08.10.2015.
- The policy that was prevalent at the time of his death provided compensatory 2 lakh rupees to the heir/dependent of the deceased and no compassionate appointment.
- However, on August 31, 2016, this policy was revised to allow that even in the event of the death of an employee working on a work charge, one of his heirs/dependents is entitled for a compassionate appointment.
- A writ petition was filed by the respondent before the High Court, which was disposed of with a direction to the appellants to decide the representation preferred by the respondent in accordance with law. But after the respondent filed an application for compassionate appointment, it was rejected by the appellants on the grounds that the policy/circular dated 31.08.2016 shall be applicable prospectively from 22.12.2016 and as the deceased employee died on 08.10.2015, i.e., prior to the amended policy, the respondent shall not be entitled to any appointment on compassionate ground.
- Thereafter, another fresh writ petition wad filed before the High Court and it was dismissed on the same grounds that since the policy was amended after the death of the respondent’s father It cannot be made applicable in this case.
- Then, the respondent appealed before the Division Bench. The Division bench allowed the appeal and ordered the appellants to consider the appointment of the respondent on compassionate grounds by relying on the subsequent policy dated 31.08.2016.
- Feeling aggrieved, the state of Madhya Pradesh filed this appeal in the Apex Court.
Whether a policy that was passed after the time of employee’s death can be applied for compassionate appointment?
- The court allowed the appeal and quashed the order of the Division bench. The court said as per the settled law already laid down by the Apex Court for appointment on compassionate ground, the policy prevalent at the time of death of the deceased employee only is required to be considered and not the subsequent policy.
- The court citied the case of Indian Bank and Ors. v. Promila and Anr., (2020) 2 SCC 729 and observed the decision of the apex court in this case. It was held that claim for compassionate appointment must be decided only on the basis of relevant scheme prevalent on date of demise of the employee and subsequent scheme cannot be looked into.
- The court also citied State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors. v. Amit Shrivas, (2020) 10 SCC 496, where a similar view was taken by the apex court to hold that the scheme prevalent on the date of death of the deceased employee is only to be considered.
- The court also ordered the amount of 2 lakhs, that was returned by the respondent to be given back to him as per the policy.
In conclusion, it was established by the court that the respondent shall not be applicable for appointment on the basis of compassionate grounds as the policy that was prevalent at the time of his father’s death did not provide this. It only provided for a compensatory amount of 2 lakhs. It was held that the subsequent policy shall not be considered.
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