At, Central Administrative Tribunal Chandigarh Bench
By, THE HONOURABLE MRS. RAJWANT SANDHU
By, MEMBER (A)
For the Applicant: None. For the Respondents: K. K. Thakur, counsel.
Rajwant Sandhu, Member (A).
1. This O.A. has been filed under Section 19 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985, seeking the following relief(s):-
'8(i) The impugned order Annexure A-4 be quashed as the same is illegal and arbitrary.
(ii) The Scheme Annexure A-3 so far as it gives undue benefit/advantage in case of widow applicant and fixation of points on terminal benefits, be quashed.
(iii) Direct the respondents to re-consider the case of the applicant afresh after awarding him either additional 15 points and further grant the proportionate points on terminal benefits by keeping in view the facts that pay scales have been revised after 1.1.1986 in 1996 and in 2006.'
2. It is stated in the O.A. that one, Sh. Kalyan Chand, was working as Postal Assistant at sub Post Office Paraur, H.P. when he suddenly died on 07.6.2013 leaving behind his dependent wife and 03 sons. The applicant being the eldest son with the qualification of 10+2 and diploma in Hardware and Professional Networking applied for his appointment on compassionate grounds. However, respondent no.2 vide order dated 24/26.09.2014 rejected the case of the applicant on the ground that he had secured only 37 points whereas the last selected candidate had secured 75 points (Annexure A-4). Minutes of Circle Selection Meeting dated 10.09.2014 in this regard are annexed (Annexure A-5). It has further been stated that as per scheme for compassionate appointments (Annexure A-3), points are granted in case widow of the deceased employee is the applicant and no point is to be granted if the applicant is dependent sons of the deceased. This provision is illegal, arbitrary and in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and deserves to be quashed along the impugned order rejecting claim of the applicant. It is further asserted that Ms. Uma Sharma and Ms. Neha, who were widows of deceased employees, were selected for appointment by giving them the benefit of additional 15 marks but this benefit was denied to the applicant.
3. Moreover, no point was awarded to the applicant under the head of ‘Terminal Benefits’ on the ground that as per point system no point is to be awarded if the terminal benefits exceed Rs. 4 lakh. This point system is apparently based upon 4th Pay Commission report, which was implemented in the year 1986 and subsequently there were two revisions of scales in the years 1996 and 2006 and the terminal benefits received by employee on retirement/death have increased manifold. Thus a Group ‘D’ employee gets more than Rs.8 lakh as terminal benefits now a days. The point system followed by the respondents is also discriminatory as there is no classification qua designation of the deceased employee for the purpose of assessment. A lower category of employee, if he expires, will definitely get lesser monetary benefits as compare to higher category of employee. But the point system adopted by the respondent gives more benefit/points to lower category of employee whose income/terminal benefits are less as compared to higher category employees and thus the dependents of higher category of employees suffer when they are considered along with dependents of lower category employee. Hence this O.A.
4. In the written statement filed on behalf of respondents it has been stated that the case of applicant was considered by Circle Selection Committee on 10.09.2014 along with 20 other cases. The applicant could only score 37 points against various attributes of indigence and could not find place amongst the most indigent 4 cases approved in view of four available vacancies under 5% prescribed quota of direct recruitment vacancies. The last candidate approved by the CRC on 10.09.2014 had secured 72 points against 37 points in applicants case (Annexure A-5) The applicant was informed on 24/26.09.2014 vide Annexure A-4. The case of the applicant was considered fairly within the ambit of the Scheme for compassionate appointment and rejected along with 11 other cases. Merit list of all 21 cases is appended (Annexure R-1).
5. It is further stated that the main object of the Scheme is to grant appointment on compassionate grounds to a dependent family member of a Government servant dying in harness thereby leaving his family in penury and without any means of livelihood, to relieve the family of the Government servant concerned from financial destitution and to help it get over the emergency. The Scheme for compassionate appointment-Relative Merit Points and Procedure for selection has been reviewed/modified/simplified so that the system finally arrived at is more transparent, efficient and uniform vide notification dated 20.01.2010 (Annexure A-3). To achieve the objective of compassionate appointment and to ensure complete transparency, merits of the cases are decided by allocating points to the applicants based on various attributes indicated in the guidelines of DOP&T issued from time to time. The respondent Department has worked out a system of allocation of points to various attributes based on a hundred point-scale as indicated in the tables in the notification dated 20.01.2010. In addition, cases where the widow of deceased official has applied for compassionate appointment for herself, she shall get 15 additional points as grace points. This is in line with the general principle that the widow needs to be given preference for compassionate appointment. Hence the policy is transparent, efficient and uniform in nature. As such the same is maintainable as well as sustainable in the eyes of law.
6. In the rejoinder filed on behalf of the applicant it has been stated that no additional points can be granted to the widow of the deceased employee seeking employment on compassionate grounds in view of the order dated 30.9.2011 of this Tribunal in O.A. No.879/PB/2010 titled Deepak Kumar Vs. BSNL (Annexure A-6).
7. The matter was initially listed for arguments on 14.07.2016 and was adjourned time and again on the request of counsel for the applicant/respondents. Matter was again listed on 07.11.2016 when none represented the applicant and it was recorded on that date that hearing in the matter was being adjourned to 09.11.2016 and even if either party was not represented on that date, matter would be heard and decided invoking Rule 15/16 of C.A.T. (Procedure) Rules, 1987.
8. When the matter was taken up for hearing on 09.11.2016, again none was present on behalf of the applicant. Hence Rule 15 of the C.A.T. (Procedure) Rules, 1987, has been invoked and I proceed to decide the matter.
9. Arguments advanced by Sh. K. K. Thakur have been heard when he reiterated the content of the written statement. He prayed that the Scheme for compassionate appointment had been framed after careful thought and notified in 2010 and after this date the meetings of Circle Selection Committees were being held keeping in view this policy. Since the widow of deceased employee, if willing to take employment should have preference for said employment, the weightage of 15 marks is afforded to her under points system was eminently justified. Applicant had only got 37 points while the last person approved for compassionate appointment had got 72 points. The cases of 05 persons had been kept pending for second review. Since applicant has got only 37 points, his application for appointment on compassionate grounds had been rejected.
10. I have given careful consideration to the matter. Judgment in Deepak Kumars case is not applicable in the present case since as per para 11 of this judgment, it was only directed that relevant Scheme/ policy dated 27.6.2007 (Annexure A-9) was required to be re-examined by the respondents by recording reasons behind the same and whether some weightage point should be given to dependents other than the widow. However, the case of the applicant has been considered as per the Scheme notified on 20.01.2010 (Annexure A-3). Moreover, all persons seeking employment on account of being dependent of the deceased employee cannot be offered such employment keeping in view limited number of vacancies available for appointment on compassionate grounds and the points
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
system provides a rational means for determining inter-se merit amongst the applicants, who are applying for such appointments at a particular point of time. From the minutes of meeting of the Circle Selection Committee held on 10.09.2014 as well as Annexure R-1, it is evident that applicant has got only 37 points and amongst 21 candidates who were considered for such appointment. His ranking was at sr. No.16 meaning thereby that 15 persons had been assessed as more deserving for such employment than the applicant. Even if Ms. Uma Sharma and Ms. Neha were not be given the weightage of 15 marks even then they would have secured higher points than the applicant. Hence applicant cannot claim that he is entitled to employment on compassionate ground in preference to these women. 11. Keeping in view the discussion above, it is concluded that there is not merit in this O.A. Hence the same is rejected.