Employment assistance on compassionate appointment it is not a right, which can be exercised by a minor on attainment of majority

Madras High Court: Deciding an appeal filed against the impugned judgment of the writ court wherein the claim for compassionate appointment of the petitioner was accepted and the rejection order of the appellants was set aside, the division bench of S. Manikumar and G. Chockalingam held that the request of the petitioner for appointment on compassionate grounds cannot be entertained, as on the date of application, he was minor. The Court further observed that employment assistance on compassionate appointment, is only a concession, extended to an eligible member of the family, to apply for a suitable post, in the service, in which, the employee/Government servant died in harness and it is not a right, which can be exercised by a minor on attainment of majority.

In the instant case the mother of the petitioner was working as a sweeper in Central Prison, Tiruchirappalli. On 30.03.1998, she died in harness. At that time, the writ petitioner was a minor. The appellants submitted that at the time of the death of petitioner’s mother, the petitioner was a minor, aged 12 years. It was further submitted that there is no provision to reserve any post as vacant, till the writ petitioner attains the age of majority. Per Contra S.K.Mani, learned counsel for the writ petitioner submitted that the scheme of compassionate appointment is to tide over the financial constraint of the bereaved family of a Government servant and it should be extended, even after several years, from the date of death of the Government servant, when there is no improvement in the economic status of the family.

After careful perusal of the facts and law, the Court highlighted that the scheme of employment assistance on compassionate grounds and modified by various Government orders issued from time to time, makes it clear that though indigent circumstance is one of the factors to be considered, while examining the eligibility of an applicant to seek for employment assistance, equally, the other requirement under the Government orders issued from time to time, that the application should be submitted within three years from the date of death, cannot be ignored. Moreover, entry into any service in the State, the minimum age is 18 years, and no minor can be appointed to any service. Therefore, he cannot make any application for appointment to any post in service and no post can be kept vacant for him, till he attains majority, the Court held. [The Inspector General of Prisons v. P.Marimuthu, 2016 SCC OnLine Mad 2501, decided 22.04.2016]

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