Bombay High Court: Ravindra V. Ghuge, J., decides a matter as to whether the benefit of compassionate appointment can be granted to the legal heir of the employee, who took voluntary retirement and was never certified as being medically unfit to perform any work, though the reason for opting for retirement was a serious medical condition.

The wife of the deceased addressed the Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad contending that she had no knowledge that her husband had applied for voluntary retirement. Further, she added that he could not sign, and somebody had filled in an application for retirement on his behalf, by way of mischief.

What was the controversy?

After the deceased was granted voluntary retirement in the backdrop of the medical opinion that he was not medically unfit, whether it would entitle petitioner 2 to compassionate appointment?

High Court took into consideration the plight of the deceased and the ignominy that he was suffering. The office colleagues of the deceased used to notice his severe medical problem and he was living a normal life since he was not able to perform any duties, he had become unwanted and undesirable.

After the deceased was relieved on 5th May, 2019, he was admitted to the hospital and passed away within 3 months in the hospital. In view of the said, the time lag after he was relieved and his death, supported the Court’s view.

The Advocate for the Zilla Parishad referred to Cause ‘B’ of Government Resolution to contend that legal representatives can be considered for compassionate appointment if the father/mother was relieved from employment due to a medical condition prior to completing the age of 50 years.

The above view, in Court’s opinion, was discriminatory and capricious.

It was clear that the deceased did not seek voluntary retirement at the stroke of superannuation, also he did not pretend to be ill or incapacitated to facilitate employment for his son.

As per the facts and circumstances of the case, he was indeed seriously ill and the neurological problem that he was suffering from, was life-threatening considering the MRI scan of his brain conducted by the neurosurgeon. His physical condition continued to deteriorate, and the entire department confirmed the view that he was incapacitated, and he was not in a condition to perform any work, even soft work.

In view of the above, the petition was partly allowed.

The following directions were issued:

  • Petitioner 2, son of the deceased be enlisted in the list of the eligible candidates for compassionate appointment, considering his representation made before he graduated.
  • His seniority in the list of eligible candidates would be from the date when he became an Engineering Graduate.
  • The Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad would consider the availability of a vacancy on which the petitioner 2 could be appointed and accordingly issue an appointment order as and when such vacancy arises.

[Anita Bhujang Wagalgave v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 942, decided on 12-4-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

Mr. A.D. Sonkawade, Advocate for petitioners

Ms. R.P. Gaur, AGP for respondents 1 and 2

Mr. S.S. Manale, Advocate for respondent Nos. 3 and 4

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