P&H HC | Compassionate appointment not to be provided to the dependents when a claim was made after attaining age of majority but application had become time barred

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Ritu Bahri, J. partly allowed the petition with the directions that the petitioner was entitled to compensation when their plea for the compassionate appointment was rejected by the respondents.  

The husband of the petitioner was working with Haryana Police as Head Constable. He expired on 22.7.1998. His son was a minor at the time of his death. After attaining the age of majority in 2005, his son made an application for compassionate appointment and submitted all the relevant documents along with application. This claim was rejected on the ground that as per Instructions dated 28.2.2003 regarding Ex-gratia Appointment Rules, 2003 as per Clause 6(1) (b) the same had become time barred. 

The petitioner relied on the new policy dated 30.11.2005 “Haryana Compassionate Assistance to the Dependents of Deceased Govt. Employees Rules, 2005” and the notification dated 01.8.2006, whereby new rules known as Haryana Compassionate Appointment to the Dependents of Deceased Government Employee Rules 2006 was published by the State Government. The petitioner served a legal notice for grant of compassionate appointment as well as financial assistance. The Department in their reply to the said legal notice rejected the claim by saying that a compassionate appointment could not be given since any post could not be kept reserved for any minor child of a deceased employee. The petitioner also relied on Instructions dated 16.3.2011, whereby Chief Secretary to Government of Haryana as a one time measure had given relaxation for applying for ex gratia compensation in cases before 01.08.2006. As per these Instructions, a decision was taken that the Government was to reconsider all the old cases where the family of the deceased under Rule 4 (2) and 6(1)(c) of Rules 2003 and under Rule 4(2) and 6(4) of the Rules 2005 of the Ex-gratia Scheme could not exercise option within time due to lack of requisite knowledge and other reasons and because of which the family of the deceased could not avail the benefit under Ex-gratia Scheme as it became time barred.

The respondents stated that they had offered the petitioner some financial assistance, which the petitioner refused to accept and urged for the appointment of her son. While rejecting the case of the petitioner for ex-gratia appointment, reference was made to Clause 6 (1) (c) of Rules 2003. A perusal of these Rules showed that the Head of the concerned Department had to prepare the list of dependents which were valid for three years and appointments were to be given by the Department strictly in accordance with seniority so maintained. 

The only benefit that the petitioner could get was the payment of ex-gratia amount offered with regard to the Ex-gratia Appointment Rules 2003, as per Clause 6(1)(b) the same has become time-barred. Therefore, the question of grant of appointment on compassionate grounds did not arise. 

In view of the above-noted facts, the instant petition was partly allowed with the direction that it was the duty of the State Government after rejecting the case of compassionate appointment of petitioner, to give them Rs 2.5 lacs and that the petitioners were entitled for interest @ 6% interest per annum on the financial assistance from 01.12.2004 till the payment was made.[Asha Rani v. State of Haryana, CWP No. 2838 of 2017, decided on 14-12-2019]

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