Central Administrative Tribunal: Mohd. Jamshed, Member (A), held that compassionate appointment cannot be equated with family pension. Slamming the respondents for their insensitive and inconsiderate attitude towards a person with 82% permanent disability, the Bench expressed,

“This correspondence between the 2nd and 3rd respondent indicates lack of any sensitivity and concern towards a physically handicapped person…the net result is that a physically handicapped person, whose parents have expired is being denied the family pension which is due to him as a matter of right in terms of extant rules and regulations.”

The father of the instant applicant Late Mr Hari Chand, used to serve in Horticulture Department, Central Public Works Department (CPWD) under Ministry of Urban Development as a Senior Mali and superannuated from service w.e.f. 31-07-2011. The applicant was aggrieved by the refusal of the respondents to include his name in Pension Payment Order (PPO) as a disabled son and for sanction of family pension in his favour.

The applicant was examined in Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, Delhi by the Medical Board and declared as a case of ‘post-polio residual paralysis of both lower limbs’. His permanent physical impairment was declared as 82% and it was mentioned that he could perform desk jobs only. The applicant asserted that he was using crutches in both hands for walking and it was not possible for him to move without the help of an accompanying person. It was also submitted that he was unable to sit in a chair and could not use public transport/toilet and hence, he was not able to undertake any job in the office. Hence, he insisted that family pension be released to him.

The applicant had relied upon the OM dated 01-07-2013 issued by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Department of Pension and 4 OA No. 695/2019 Pensioner Welfare wherein it is clearly indicated that on acceptance of such request from permanently disabled children, the Head of Office will immediately issue order for grant of family pension. He had also relied upon the OM dated 27-01-2016 which says that the grant of family pension to disabled children is in no way equated to compassionate appointment.

Observing that the respondent had at one point found the reasons given by the applicant for his inability to undertake the desk job acceptable and, had recommended his case for grant of family pension yet the applicant was denied grant of pension, the Bench stated,

“This is indeed ironical as the case of family pension has already been recommended by the 2nd respondent.”

Noticing that the correspondence between the respondent 2 and 3 indicated lack of any sensitivity and concern towards a physically handicapped person, and that the respondents had based their objections only on the line mentioned in the medical certificate which says ‘he can perform only desk job’, the Bench opined that the respondents had denied the family pension to the applicant on account of sheer apathy, inaction and indecision.

“Equating grant of family pension to compassionate appointment is in itself fundamentally wrong…the contention of the respondents that the applicant had once been asked to apply for compassionate appointment, which he has refused and, therefore, he is not eligible for family pension is not supported by rules and is purely arbitrary.”

In the light of the above, the Bench held that the kind of apathy being shown towards a physically handicapped person by depriving him of his right and to get much-needed family pension for his survival for last more than 5 years, without any basis to say the least was injustice. Accordingly, the respondents were directed to grant family pension to the applicant within a period of three months without any arrears. However, in case of non-compliance by the respondent within three months further directions were made making them liable to pay interest at 9% for any subsequent delayed payment. [Sh. Mahesh Kumar Sharma v. Union of India, O.A. No.695/2019, decided on 24-08-2021]

Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Appearance by:

For the Applicant: Advocate: Mr. B.K. Berera

For the Respondents: Advocate: Mr. Hitesh Kumar Bagri

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