Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: While deciding the instant appeal vis-a-vis compassionate appointment, the Division Bench of Tashi Rabstan and Wasim Sadiq Nargal, JJ., held that once an individual has accepted the compassionate appointment and joined their respective post, they, at a later stage, cannot claim that they ought to have been appointed on a higher post. It was also held that an applicant has no right to claim a compassionate appointment in a particular class or group and it is not for conferring status on the family.

Brief Facts: The appellants were appointed on compassionate basis as Technician-III in the Power Development Department, Jammu. Thereafter, in the year 2015, they filed a writ petition claiming that they should have been appointed against the post of Junior Engineers at par with private respondents who were similarly appointed on compassionate basis. The writ was dismissed due to lack of merit and thus arose the instant appeal.

Observations and Decision: Perusing the facts of the dispute, the Court delved into the intent behind compassionate appointments. It was observed that compassionate appointments are not a vested right or an alternate mode of employment and it has to be considered and granted under the relevant rules A candidate for a compassionate appointment has no right to any particular post of choice. He can only claim to be considered. The object of compassionate appointment is to enable the family of the deceased employee to tide over the sudden financial crisis due to the death of bread earner which has left the family without any means of livelihood. It is meant to provide minimum relief for meeting immediate hardship to save the bereaved family from sudden financial crises due to the death of sole bread earner.

The Court referred to the cases of Union of India v. Shashank Goswami, (2012) 11 SCC 307, and Treasuries in Karnataka v. V. Somyashree, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 704 wherein the issues surrounding compassionate appointment was extensively dealt with and it was laid down that the claim for appointment on compassionate ground is based on the premises that the applicant was dependent on the deceased employee and compassionate appointment is an exception to the general rule.

Applying the afore-stated cases on the instant appeal, the Court stated that the relevant rules, which were enforced during 2009 to 2013, clearly reveals that entitlement of a candidate to seek appointment on compassionate grounds was only to the post in the lowest rank of the non-gazetted service, subject to the fulfillment of the qualification criteria. The appeal was hence dismissed.

[Paras Kapoor v. State of J&K, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 597, decided on 29-07-2022]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Sunil Sethi, Sr. Advocate with Paras Gupta, Advocate, for the Appellants;

Respondents- K.D.S. Kotwal, Dy. A.G. for the Respondents 1 to 4;

M.K. Bhardwaj, Sr. Advocate with Ajay Abrol, Advocate, for the Respondent 5.

*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has prepared this brief

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