Libertatem Magazine

Himachal Pradesh High Court Rules on Compassionate Employment 

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In this case, the Court emphasized the point that Compassionate Appointment should rely on specific policy in force at the time of appointment. 

Brief Facts 

The Father of the Petitioner was employed as a male health worker with the Respondents. He sought Premature Retirement on medical grounds and Compassionate Appointment for his son, i.e., the Petitioner. After medical examination, the father was declared incapacitated and was granted retirement at the age of 53 years. Petitioner’s application for appointment was being processed by the Respondents and the policy in force regarding appointments was governed by a Memorandum dated 18.01.1990, which provided for appointments on the compassionate ground only on the condition that the Applicant had not crossed the age of 55. The Respondents rejected the claims of the Petitioner via communication dated 31.7.2020, on the ground that his father, a Class IV regular employee had crossed the eligible age limit of 45 years prescribed in the Policy dated 7.3.2019. Hence the present Writ Petition challenging the rejection was filed before the Hon’ble High Court. 

The contention of The Petitioner 

The Petitioner contended that the policy of the Compassionate Appointment being granted on the retirement at the age of 45 was based upon the Office Memorandum issued on 7.3.2019, on the other hand, the Petitioner had to be considered based on the Memorandum issued on 18.1.1990  because of its applicability when the Petitioner had presented his application for appointment

The contention of the Respondents 

The Respondents contended that the Petitioner was not applicable for the appointment because his father did not satisfy the conditions mentioned in the Memorandum dated 7.3.2019. 

The decision of the Court 

The Court quashed the communication of the Respondents rejecting the claim of the Petitioner and ordered the Respondents to consider the Compassionate Appointment of the Petitioner according to the Memorandum dated 18.1.1990. 

Reasons for the Decision  

The Court stated that a Compassionate Appointment had to be decided based on the Scheme existing at that particular point in time, and reliance could not be placed upon subsequent Schemes. The Court relied on the ruling in Indian Bank and Others Vs. Promila & Anr., which ruled that it was only the relevant Scheme prevalent on the date of demise of the employee, that would be a guiding light in case of any application for appointment of kin on compassionate grounds. 

The Court further clarified that in the present case, the Petitioner had pursued the Respondents for Compassionate Employment since 2009 and during 2009, the scheme in force was governed by a Memorandum issued on 18.1.1990.


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