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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Supreme Court ruled that a dependent cannot be appointed to a higher position than the one held by the deceased employee on compassionate grounds.
  • The appointment on compassionate grounds, according to the Court, is a concession, not a right.
  • The bench stated that it is an exception to the usual rule of appointment in the public service and is in favour of the dependents of the deceased who died in harness and left his family in poverty and without any means of sustenance.
  • The above-mentioned observations were made by a bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna.


BACKGROUND

  • In the following case, at the time of his death, the deceased employee was employed as a Messenger in the Uttar Pradesh Police Radio Department (Class IV).
  • The writ petition filed by the widow of the deceased employee was dismissed by the Single Bench of the High Court on the grounds that since the deceased employee was a Class IV employee and she was also offered a Class IV post, she could not claim the appointment on compassionate grounds on the post of Workshop Hand or any other suitable Class III post.
  • In her appeal, the Division bench allowed her writ petition, stating that an appointment must be made on a "suitable post" under Rule 5 of the Dying in Harness Rules 1974, and that the term "suitable" in Rule 5 refers to the suitability of the person seeking appointment, not the post held by the deceased government servant.
  • The Government argued in an appeal to the Supreme Court that the term "suitable post" as defined in Rule 5 of the Rules of 1974 must be interpreted in light of the dependent's educational qualifications in comparison to the deceased employee's post.

JUDGEMENT OF THE COURT

  • Accepting the argument, the court stated that the ‘suitable post' must be considered when considering the deceased employee's status/post, and the educational qualification/eligibility criteria, and the suitability of the post must be considered when considering the deceased employee's post.

Do you think a dependent should get a higher post on compassionate grounds if they are more qualified than the deceased?

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