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HP High Court Rejects Plea Seeking Compassionate Appointment Given State Policy

the High Court of Himachal Pradesh recently rejected a plea requesting compassionate date filed by a son (seeking employment in place of his father) while noting that his mother is already in public service, and therefore, in accordance with state policy on humanitarian appointments, he cannot receive job aid.

The bench of Judge Sabina and Judge Satyen Vaidya also observed that a dependent family member of a deceased employee has the right to request a compassionate appointment alone in the manner prescribed by the State in this regard.

Importantly, the Court also relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case State of Himachal Pradesh and another Versus Shashi Kumar, (2019) 3, SCC 653, where it was observed as:

It is necessary to bear in mind that compassionate appointment is an exception to the general rule that appointment to any public office in the service of the State must be made on the basis of principles consistent with Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. Dependents of a deceased employee of the state are made eligible under the policy on humanitarian appointments…The terms under which such applications would be considered are subject to the policy developed by the state and must adhere to the policy terms. In this sense, it is a well-established principle of law that there is no right to appointment on compassionate grounds.”

The case in brief

Essentially a Moti Ram had moved to High Court of Himachal Pradesh seeking a compassionate nomination arguing that his father worked as a T-Mate with the Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board Limited and he had died while serving in March 2007 and therefore was entitled to the appointment in his place.

He added that when he approached the Commission to request his appointment on compassionate grounds, his case was wrongly rejected on the grounds that since his mother was already serving in the Department of Public Works of Himachal Pradesh, therefore he was not eligible for the appointment on compassionate grounds.

On the other hand, the National Electricity Commission argued that, in accordance with Clause 5(c) of the Policy from 18.1.1990 [dealing with the appointment of sons/daughters/near relations of a Government servant who dies in harness leaving his family in immediate need of assistance.], the case of the petitioner had been exactly rejected.

It was argued that since the applicant’s mother was already in government employment, he therefore could not have obtained government employment on a compassionate basis.

Court’s observations

The Court, while taking into account the policy of the State in this regard, noted that the applicant was not entitled to the appointment on humanitarian grounds in view of Clause 5(c) of the relevant policy because his mother already held a position in the government.

Therefore, the court held that the Respondents had rightly dismissed the Applicant’s case for appointment on humanitarian grounds. Consequently, the Court rejects the plea on the ground that no cause of interference has been established.

Case Title – Moti Ram v Himachal Pradesh Electricity Board Limited and others

Case quote: 2022 LiveLaw (HP) 1

Click here to read/download the order

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