Dismissing a petition seeking appointment on compassionate grounds, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court observed that if compassionate appointment was treated as one more source of recruitment then it would be violative of Article 16 (Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment) of the Constitution.
The court was hearing the petition filed in 2017 by D. Sivakumar of Tiruchi. The father of the petitioner died in 2001 while in service in Tangedco. The petitioner was aged 10 at the time. He made an application seeking appointment on compassionate grounds after he attained majority. However, the request was turned down. He challenged the rejection.
Relying on government orders, Justice M. Dhandapani observed that before August 23, 2005, even a person who had not attained the age of 18 was entitled to make an application to seek appointment on compassionate grounds. However, it was clarified that after the said date only those who had completed 18 years could make the application.
Though in the present case the petitioner submitted the application in 2009 after he attained majority in 2008, the scheme provided that the application had to be submitted by legal heirs within three years of the death of the employee. Therefore, in the present case, the application could not be entertained.
The purpose of providing employment on compassionate grounds was to mitigate the hardship faced by the family due to the death of an employee. Therefore, it had to be provided immediately to ensure that the family managed the crisis. The dependent of the deceased employee could not be permitted to convert a tragedy into a bonanza, the judge said.
It was already settled by various decisions of the Supreme Court that appointment on compassionate grounds was a concession given by an employer to help the family of the deceased employee to get over the immediate financial crisis, the court said.