Any delay in seeking compassionate appointment militates against such a claim as the objective to provide immediate amelioration to the family of a deceased government employee stands extinguished by then, the Supreme Court has said.
A bench comprising justices M R Shah and Sanjiv Khanna set aside the concurring verdicts of the Orissa High Court and the Central Administrative Tribunal to provide jobs on compassionate grounds to the son of a deceased SAIL employee, citing the delay in making the claim.
”The delay in pursuing claim/approaching court would militate against the claim for compassionate appointment as the very objective of providing immediate amelioration to the family would stand extinguished,” the bench said, allowing the appeal of PSU Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) against the concurring verdicts of the high court and the CAT.
SAIL was asked by the CAT, whose 2019 judgment was upheld by the high court, to provide a compassionate appointment to the second son of its deceased employee. The son, through his mother Gouri Devi, had approached the high court seeking the job in 1996.
Interestingly, before the second son, the first son of the deceased employee had also approached the SAIL authorities for a compassionate appointment in 1977 when his father died and his plea was rejected as per the policy prevalent then.
Referring to the facts of the case, Justice Shah, writing the judgment for the bench, said at this stage it is required to be noted that in the year 1977, the eldest son made an application for appointment on compassionate ground, which was rejected in the year 1977 and the same has attained finality.
“Despite the above fact, the second time the application was filed was in the year 1996 now to appoint the second son, which was after 18 years. Even though there was a delay of 18 years in making the second application, unfortunately, the Tribunal still directed the appellant to reconsider the case and to appoint the second son on compassionate ground, which has been confirmed by the High Court by the impugned judgment and order,” it said.
Setting aside the verdicts of the high court and the tribunal, the judgment said that the man was not entitled to an appointment on compassionate grounds on the ground of “delay and laches”.