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Manju v/s Establishment Officer, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology & Others

    Writ Petition No. 140 of 2021
    Decided On, 05 December 2022
    At, High Court of Uttarakhand
    For the Petitioner: Yogesh Kumar Pacholia, learned counsel. For the Respondents: Dr. Kartikey Hari Gupta, learned counsel.

Judgment Text
Judgment Oral:

Vipin Sanghi, C.J.

1. Learned counsel appears and accepts notice on behalf of the respondent-University.

2. We have heard learned counsels and proceed to dispose of the present writ petition at the admission stage.

3. Pleadings are complete as counter affidavit and rejoinder affidavit have been filed.

4. The petitioner has assailed the order dated 28.03.2019, passed by the respondent-University rejecting the petitioner's application for compassionate appointment, on the ground that the petitioner's late husband, who died- in-harness, had not completed three years regular service. According to the respondent-University under Section 6(8)(13)(1)(d)(i) of Chapter XIII of the Statues of the University, it was necessary that the late husband of the petitioner should have completed at least three years of regular service in the University for the petitioner's request for compassionate appointment to be considered.

5. The facts of the case are that the petitioner's husband worked as a daily wager since 1993. On account of his continuous service as a daily wager, he was regularized on the post of Cook from 25.11.2013 onwards. While in-harness, he passed-away on 20.09.2014. Thereafter, the petitioner made her application for seeking compassionate appointment. As aforesaid, the application stands rejected without consideration on merits by placing reliance on the aforesaid section. We may reproduce the relevant section, which reads as follows:-

"SECTION 6 (8) (13) 1 (a) All appointments shall be made strictly on the basis of merit.

**(b) Reservation for candidates belonging to S.C./S.T. and other Backward classes in respect of posts under the University shall be given as per government order applicable to the University in this behalf and in force time to time.

(c) In the case of teaching posts there will be no reservation for the candidates of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. They shall be called for interview, if they fulfil the minimum qualification, even if they are lower in the order of merit and provided other things are fond equal; they would be given preference.

(d) A dependent (wife or husband, son, unmarried daughter and windowed daughter) of an employee of the University who meets with untimely death or gets permanent disability during the service period may be appointed on any non-teaching post for which he/she is suitable and fulfils the minimum qualifications, without selection procedure.


(i) The above facility will be given to only the dependents of employees who have put in at least 3 years continuous service in the University and only if there is no other earning member in the family of the deceased.

(ii) If there are more than one member in the family of deceased, desirous to get employment then the appointing authority shall select one of such persons on the basis of suitability particularly considering the interest of his widow and minor members of the family of the deceased."

6. The submission of learned counsel for the petitioner is that the respondents have incorrectly read this aforesaid section. The same talks of three years "continuous service in the University", it nowhere talks of three years regular service in the University. The petitioner's late husband was in continuous service initially as a daily wager and thereafter as a regularized Cook till the date of his death i.e. 20.09.2014. He has also placed reliance on the judgment of learned Single Judge of this Court in Shailendra Yadav Vs. Establishment Officer, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology and others, which is the respondent-University in the present case as well. In that case, the daily wager was serving the respondent-University since 01.01.1996 and was regularized on the post of Junior Assistant w.e.f., 18.12.2014. He passed-away in-harness on 18.12.2016 i.e., exactly two years after the date of his regularization. The application made by his son to seek compassionate appointment was rejected, by the respondent-University by placing reliance on the same section as aforesaid. The learned Single Judge interpreted the said provision and held that the section speaks about "continuous service" and not "regular service" and consequently allowed the writ petition and directed the respondent-University to reconsider the case of the writ-petitioner.

7. We have perused the said judgment and we find that the same is fairly attracted in the facts of the present case.

8. Dr. Gupta has not claimed that the said judgment of the learned Single Judge was not accepted by the respondent-University and put to challenge before the Division Bench in a Special Appeal. Even otherwise, we agree with the submission of learned counsel for the petitioner as well as the view taken by the learned Single Judge in Shailendra Yadav (supra). The provision for grant of compassionate appointment is a beneficial provision and has t

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o be construed meaningfully. The words used in the Section are "at least three years continuous service in the University". Plainly read, they only mean three years continuous service and do not mean three years regular service. 9. We, therefore, allow this present petition and quash the impugned order dated 28.03.2019 rejecting the petitioner's application to seek compassionate appointment. We direct the respondent-Authorities to consider the petitioner's case for compassionate appointment on its own merits and take a decision within next three weeks.