w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Andhra Bank (now Union Bank of India) Rep. by its General Manager, Staff Department & Others v/s P. Rajasekhar


Company & Directors' Information:- BANK OF INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U99999MH1906PLC000243

Company & Directors' Information:- N BANK LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U65191WB1924PLC000442

Company & Directors' Information:- P N N BANK LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U65921TZ1948PLC000153

Company & Directors' Information:- CORPORATION BANK LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999KA1972PLC001067

    Writ Appeal No. 206 of 2021

    Decided On, 01 October 2021

    At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. ARUP KUMAR GOSWAMI & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE NINALA JAYASURYA

    For the Appellants: Dr. K. Lakshmi Narasimha, Advocate. For the Respondent: Pratap Narayan Sanghi, Advocate.



Judgment Text

(Taken up through video conferencing)

Oral Judgment: (Arup Kumar Goswami, CJ.)

1. Heard Dr. K. Lakshmi Narasimha, learned counsel for the appellants. Also heard Mr. Pratap Narayan Sanghi, learned counsel for the respondent/writ petitioner.

2. This appeal is directed against a judgment and order dated 25.02.2021 passed by the learned single Judge in W.P.No.24086 of 2004, whereby the said writ petition filed by the respondent herein was allowed by setting aside the proceedings dated 09.06.2003 issued by the 3rd appellant/3rd respondent and directing the appellants/respondents to appoint the respondent/writ petitioner in sub-staff cadre in the appellant-bank within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order.

3. Mr. B. John Prasada Rao, father of the respondent/writ petitioner, died on 19.12.1998 while working as a Clerk in the appellant-bank. The request made by the mother of the respondent/writ petitioner for providing compassionate appointment to the respondent/writ petitioner was rejected by the authorities of the bank by an order dated 07.01.2000, which prompted the respondent/writ petitioner to file a writ petition, numbered as W.P.No.27078 of 2001, before this Court. It appears from the order dated 11.11.2002 passed in W.P.No.27078 of 2001 that the prayer for compassionate appointment was rejected by the authorities on the ground that the terminal benefits of an amount of Rs.3,54,396/- was paid and that the mother of the respondent/writ petitioner was being paid family pension. That apart, the appellants had also taken a stand that the housing loan obtained by the deceased employee was also waived and, therefore, no right accrued under law to claim appointment on compassionate grounds. The stand taken by the authorities was negated by this Court and, accordingly, the authorities were directed to reconsider the matter and pass appropriate orders in accordance with law. Subsequent thereto, the impugned order dated 09.06.2003 came to be passed by the 3rd appellant stating that the Committee appointed by the Chairman & Managing Director of the appellant-bank, which had interviewed the respondent/writ petitioner, found the respondent/writ petitioner not suitable for appointment to the post of Clerk as he was not able to write or read even a few sentences in English.

4. Dr. K. Lakshmi Narasimha, learned counsel for the appellants, submits that the respondent/writ petitioner possesses Intermediate qualification and in terms of Clause 5(iv)(a) of the Scheme for appointment of dependants of deceased employees of the bank on compassionate grounds, the case of the respondent/writ petitioner can be considered for appointment only in clerical cadre and as the selection committee had found him not suitable for appointment to the post of Clerk, his case was rightly refused for compassionate appointment. He further submits that the learned single Judge had wrongly placed reliance on Clause 5(iv)(b) of the Scheme, which pertains to appointment in substaff cadre. He submits that the Scheme has to be construed strictly and in support thereof, he places reliance on the judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Canara Bank and another v. M. Mahesh Kumar, reported in (2015) 7 SCC 412, Indian Bank and others v. Promila and another, reported in (2020) 2 SCC 729 and State of Madhya Pradesh and Others v. Amit Shrivas, reported in 2020 SCC Online SC 789. He also submits that from the date of death of father of the respondent/writ petitioner, nearly 22 years have elapsed and therefore, at this point of time, it may not be necessary to consider the case of the respondent/writ petitioner for compassionate appointment.

5. Mr. Pratap Narayan Sanghi, learned counsel for the respondent/writ petitioner, on the other hand, supports the order under challenge and prays for dismissal of the appeal.

6. A perusal of Clause 3 of the Scheme for appointment of the dependants of deceased employees on compassionate grounds, called as the ‘Scheme for appointment in Officer, Clerical and allied cadre and Sub-staff cadre of dependants of deceased employees of Andhra Bank on compassionate grounds’ (for short, ‘the Scheme’), filed at Page No.29 of the appeal papers, would go to show that the bank may, at its discretion, appoint in the bank in any of the posts mentioned thereunder the persons belonging to the categories as indicated therein, if they fulfil the criteria for appointment under the Scheme. The appointment under the Scheme, in terms of the said Clause, is to be made in Officer cadre, Clerical and allied cadre, and Sub-staff cadre.

7. Clause 5 of the Scheme deals with the ‘Method of Appointment’ and sub-clause (iv) thereof, which deals with the ‘Qualifications’, is relevant for consideration of the issue involved and is, therefore, extracted hereinbelow for better appreciation:

“5. METHOD OF APPOINTMENT:

(iv) QUALIFICATIONS:

a) To qualify for appointment in clerical cadre, a dependent including the widow of a deceased employee, the minimum qualification would be a pass - in the SSC/SSLC/Matriculation only. A dependent of a deceased employee who possess technical qualification etc., which are prescribed for the posts of Stenographers, Machine Operators or posts requiring technical qualifications etc., his/her case is considered for the particular post as in the case of general candidates.

b) To qualify for appointment in sub-staff cadre, a dependent of a deceased, who can prove to the satisfaction of the appointing authority that he/she possesses the simple knowledge of reading and writing English or the regional language, is eligible and requirement of his/her having passed any examination in school is not to be insisted upon. The above requirement is relaxed even further with respect to widows, provided she can perform the duties of sub-staff cadre.

c) No minimum qualification is prescribed for appointment as part time sweeper in sub-staff cadre.”

8. In consideration of the claim of a dependant for compassionate appointment, the first question that would arise for consideration is as to whether the person claiming such appointment is required to be appointed on compassionate grounds and if the answer is in affirmative, then the next question that would arise is in what category, he/she can be appointed. In the instant case, there was no dispute that the respondent/writ petitioner was in requirement of compassionate appointment, but such appointment was denied on the ground that the selection committee, in terms of the qualification prescribed in Clause 5 (iv)(a) of the Scheme, found him not suitable for appointment to the post of Clerk. A perusal of Clause 5(iv)(a) of the Scheme would go to show that to be eligible for appointment in clerical cadre, the minimum qualification would be a pass in SSC/SSLC/Matriculation. The said Clause does not lay down that a person possessing SSC/SSLC/Matriculation would be eligible to be considered for appointment only in clerical cadre and not in sub-staff cadre. We are of the considered opinion that there is no embargo for the bank to appoint a person who requires compassionate appointment, in any post to which he is found eligible. In the absence of such embargo, if the respondent/writ petitioner was found not suitable for the post of Clerk, to which he is eligible in terms of the qualification prescribed in the Scheme, he should have been considered for appointment to any other post. If the Clause 5(iv)(a) of the Scheme is understood to mean that the person possessing the qualification required for a post should be considered for appointment only to that post and not to any other post even in lower cadre, such understanding will frustrate the very purpose for which the Scheme for providing compassionate appointment is envisaged.

9. In M. Mahesh Kumar (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that cause of action to be considered for compassionate appointment arose when the particular Scheme in that case was in force under which the writ petitioner therein was not found to be eligible for compassionate appointment and that his case could not be considered as per the subsequent scheme. In Promila (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court reiterated the proposition laid down in M. Mahesh Kumar (supra) that relevant scheme prevalent on the date of demise of the employee is applicable. In the instant case, there is no issue with regard to applicability of the Scheme which was in force.

10. In the case of Amit Shrivas (supra), the issue was whether a junior work-charged employee would be entitled to compassionate appointment. The High Court had directed consideration of the case of the writ petitioner for compassionate appointment. His claim for compassionate appointment was rejected by the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the ground that he was not a regular Government employee within the meaning of Rule 2(b) of the Madhya Pradesh Civil Service Conduct Rules, 1965. It was observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that High Court had lost sight of the distinction between a permanent status and a regular status. This case also, in our opinion, has no relevance in the factual matrix presented before us.

11. So far as the contention that nearly 22 years have gone by from the date of death of the father of the respondent/writ petitioner and, therefore, the case of the respondent/writ petitioner for compassionate appointment needs no consideration at this length of time is concerned, we are unable to accept the said contention. At the earliest point of time, the mother of the respondent/writ petitioner had ap

Please Login To View The Full Judgment!

proached the authorities of the bank for compassionate appointment of the respondent/writ petitioner, which was rejected on most untenable grounds prompting the respondent/writ petitioner to assail such rejection of compassionate appointment to him. Even in the second round of consideration, the bank had rejected his case on unjustifiable ground, as held by the learned single Judge and affirmed by us. The respondent/writ petitioner cannot be denied his right to compassionate appointment accrued under the Scheme, for the delay that had occasioned over which he had no control. It is not in dispute that on the date of consideration, he was in requirement of compassionate appointment. In these circumstances, we see no good ground to take a view that only because of lapse of considerable time, he should be denied compassionate appointment. 12. For the reasons and discussions noted above, we find no good ground to interfere with the order under appeal and, accordingly, the appeal is dismissed. No costs. Pending miscellaneous applications, if any, shall stand closed.
O R