Published on: August 17, 2021 09:28 IST
The Bombay High Court recently dismissed a woman’s appeal against a Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) ruling denying her request for compassionate appointment of her 27-year-old daughter in place of her husband, a railway employee who died on the job in 1991.
The High Court ruled that it would be a “mockery” of the scheme because it is only granted in exceptional cases to ensure that the families of deceased government employees do not face poverty, and in this case, the petitioner woman and her daughter had survived for nearly 26 years without either of them receiving a compassionate job.
In 1991, the woman’s husband, a railway employee, died while on job. Despite the fact that the railways had asked if she wanted a job following her husband’s death, she had declined the offer at the time. She only applied for the benefit when her daughter reached 26 years old.
While hearing Alka Govind Kumbhar’s appeal, a division bench of chief justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni was informed by her lawyer that in December 2016, the woman learned about the appointment on compassionate grounds scheme after her brother-in-law applied to the railways for the same.
She applied for her daughter’s appointment under the plan in February 2017.
The bench noted,
“Between May 20, 1991, and February 14, 2017, the petitioners never perceived that they would not survive unless on compassionate grounds an appointment was offered to any one of them. If at this distance of time the respondents are directed to consider the application for compassionate appointment, it would result in a mockery of the principle of protective discrimination. That is not the case here.”
The High Court further concluded that no provision of any programme or rule for compassionate appointment was brought to its attention to empower the petitioners to make such a claim over 26 years after the “bread earner’s” death.
The Court held “The writ petition is devoid of merit and is dismissed.”