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Om Pal v/s Union of India & Others

    Civil Writ Petition No. 5213 of 1998

    Decided On, 02 August 2000

    At, High Court of Punjab and Haryana


    For the Appellant: K.S. Dadwal, Advocate. For the Respondents: Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, Advocate.

Judgment Text

Jawahar Lal Gupta, J.The Petitioner's claim for the grant of appointment on compassionate grounds having been rejected by the departmental authorities, he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, vide order dated January 9, 1998 the Tribunal dismissed the petition. Hence this writ petition. A few facts may be noticed.2. The Petitioner's father was working as a Beldar with the Public Works Department in the Union Territory of Chandigarh. He, unfortunately, passed away on April 5, 1994. The Petitioner submitted an application for the grant of appointment on compassionate grounds. His claim was rejected. The order was conveyed to him vide letter dated May 14, 1996. A copy has been placed on record as Annexure P5. In response to another representation submitted by the Petitioner, the position was reiterated vide letter dated November 29, 1996. A copy of this letter has been produced as Annexure P6 with the writ petition. The Petitioner was told that his request could not be accepted as his mother was already working in the Road Sub Division No. 3, Chandigarh. Aggrieved by the action of the Respondents, the Petitioner served a notice u/s 80 CPC on the Administration. The notice having elicited no response, he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal. Vide order dated January 9, 1998 the Tribunal found that the Petitioner "cannot claim the job on compassionate grounds so long as the mother is already in service and is also in receipt of pension of Rs. 750/-.... It was also noticed that the Petitioner's mother had received the terminal benefits as well. Thus, the Petitioner's claim was rejected.3. Aggrieved by the order, the Petitioner has filed this writ petition. He prays that the orders passed by the Tribunal and the department be quashed and that the Respondents be directed to grant him appointment on compassionate grounds.4. The claim made on behalf of the Petitioner has been controverted by the Respondents. A detailed written statement has been filed. The parties have also filed various supplementary affidavits.5. Counsel for the parties have been heard. Mr. K.S. Dadwal, learned Counsel for the Petitioner, has contended that in view of the instructions issued by the Administration vide letter dated June 30, 1987, a copy of which is on record as Annexure R2/1, the mere employment of a member of the family does not disentitle another from claiming appointment on compassionate grounds. The claim made on behalf of the Petitioner has been controverted by Mr. Jaskirat Singh, appearing for the Respondents.6. The short question that arises is - Is the Petitioner entitled to claim appointment on compassionate grounds ?7. A perusal of the instructions referred to by the learned Counsel for the Petitioner shows that appointment has to be granted when the family is "in immediate need of assistance". The department has to be "satisfied that the condition of the family is indigent and is in great distress.... Only then "the benefit of compassionate appointments may be extended to a son/daughter/near relative of a Government servant ...."Thus, a perusal of the instructions shows that it is only to alleviate extreme hardship that appointment on compassionate grounds can be given. What is the position in the present case?8. The Petitioner's mother is working in the Roads Sub Division. She is getting a regular salary. She is also getting a regular sum of money (Rs. 750/- as mentioned in the order) by way of pension. Still further, she has also got the terminal benefits. Taking all these facts cumulatively, it is clear that the Petitioner's family is not facing any distress much less than "a great distress" as contemplated under the instructions. This being the position the essential pre-condition for the grant of appointment is not satisfied. It is clear that the action of the Respondents in declining the Petitioner's prayer for the grant of appointment on compassionate grounds is in strict conformity with the instructions.9. Mr. Dadwal contends that various other persons whose relatives are employed have been granted appointments by different authorities.10. On a perusal of the instructions we find that the competent authority has been given the discretion to grant appointment even when a member of the family is in service. The obvious purpose is that in a case where a member of the family is employed but is not looking after the persons who were dependent upon the deceased employee, an appointment may be given to help the family to tide over the immediate crisis. How-ever, it is only when it is found that the earning member is not looking after the family that such an appointment can be given. It is not the Petitioner's case that his mother has refused to look after him. In such a situation the claim made by the Petitioner on the ground that the appointments have been granted by the Administration in certain other cases can afford no ground for setting aside the impugned orders.11. It also deserves notice that two wrongs can never make a right. Even if it is assumed that certain persons have been wrongly appointed, it cannot entitled the Petitioner to claim that

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the wrong be repeated or that it be perpetuated. In our view the grant of appointment on compassionate grounds can be justified only in a case when the family is facing an acute economic crisis. Not otherwise. Normally, every post has to be filled up in accordance with the principles of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution, An exception should be rare, Not a rule. After all a post under the Slate is not a hereditary office which has to pass from the father to the son.12. No other point has been raised.13. No merit. The petition is, accordingly, dismissed. No costs.