The Supreme Court allowed the appeal filed by the State of Madhya Pradesh against the grant of Compassionate appointment to the Respondent. But, taking note of the economic hardship faced by the Respondent, the court increased the Compassionate grant amount.
Facts of the Case
The State of MP has filed this appeal against the grant of compassionate appointment to the respondent. This was on account of the demise of his father who was working as a driver in the Tribal Welfare Department in Madhya Pradesh.
The respondent had first made this request to the appellant. It was rejected based on the policy in force for compassionate appointment as per the Madhya Pradesh government. The policy states that if the employee is a work charge or contingent fund employee at the time of his demise, there is no provision for the grant of such an appointment.
The respondent then appeared before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, which was accepted. The High Court asked the appellant to adhere to the request of the respondent. Another appeal was filed by the appellants before the division bench of the High Court. The High Court ordered the respondent to return the one lac advanced to them based on the Policy after he has received such appointment.
In pursuance of this order, The Appellant accepted the respondent’s claim. But subject to the following conditions:
- The amount of 1 Lac advanced should be returned.
- The appointment would be dependent on the availability of the vacancy or post.
- The posting offered would be compulsory, Lee accepted.
- If an SLP or an appeal is filed then the outcome of the same will be binding.
An SLP was filed by the Appellant in 2014. The respondent has not got the benefit of the compassionate appointment till now.
The appellant relied on the principle that a compassionate appointment is not an inherent right but a prerogative of the state. It can only be granted as per the concerned policy. Clause 12.1 of the policy does not provide for compassionate appointments to such employees and the monetary benefit as allowed had already been granted.
The respondent raised the claim on the basis that his late father, who was appointed as a work charged employee was made permanent in 1987. He was paid a salary at a regular pay scale. He was also receiving the benefit of revision of pay and promotions were being extended to him.
Further, he was the only breadwinner of the family of six. And his death led his surviving family to suffer through great economic hardship. A pension payment order was issued in favour of the family under the Madhya Pradesh Civil Pension Rules, 1976. But given the economic hardship, the respondent filed an application seeking the benefit of a compassionate appointment.
The Court observed that it is trite to say that there cannot be an inherent right to compassionate appointment. It is instead right based on certain criteria, especially to provide succour to a needy family.
The bench distinguished between a work charged employee, a permanent employee, and a regular employee. According to the court, the respondent has missed the point of distinction between the three kinds of the employee. The late father of the respondent was a work charged employee. He attained this status as a permanent employee and was entitled to certain benefits, including pension and promotion. This does not ipso facto give him the status of a regular employee.
The court relied on the decision of Ram Naresh Rawat v Ashwani Ray to highlight the distinction between a permanent and a regularised employee. The court, thus, stated that it cannot be concluded that giving permanent status to some employees equates to regularising him.
The bench allowed this appeal. Further, using its inherent powers under Article 142 of the Constitution increased the compassionate grant amount from 1,00,000 rupees to 2,00,000 payable to the respondent.
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