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"Improper To Keep Such Cases Pending For Years": Orissa High Court Orders Compassionate Appointment For Two After 7 Yrs Delay

Jyoti Prakash Dutta
1 Jun 2022 5:30 AM GMT
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The Orissa High Court, on Tuesday, held that it is highly improper to keep the cases of compassionate appointment pending for years, as the very purpose behind the same is to mitigate hardship of a bereaved family.

While making orders for compassionate appointment in favour of two persons, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi observed,

"It is stated unequivocally that in all claims for appointment on compassionate grounds, there should not be any delay in appointment. The purpose of providing appointment on compassionate ground is to mitigate the hardship due to death of the bread earner in the family. Such appointment should, therefore, be provided immediately to redeem the family in distress."

Brief Facts:

The petitioners had filed these writ petitions challenging the order dated 23.03.2021 of the District Education Officer, Kendrapara- Opp. Party No. 4 in rejecting their representations for compassionate appointment under the prevailing Rule when the petitioners had submitted their application pursuant to the order of the High Court for considering their case in light of the judgment in Damodar Jena v. Chairman-cum-M.D., Grid Co. Ltd. & Anr., 2015 (II) ILR-CUT-569.

The petitioners have also challenged the action of the Opp. Parties in not considering their case for appointment under Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme as per the Orissa Civil Service (Rehabilitation Assistance) Rule, 1990, although they had submitted their applications along with all necessary documents before the appropriate authority for appointment, due to the harness of their late fathers.


Mr. Karunakar Rath, counsel for the petitioners contended that the Opp. Party No. 2 did not provide the compassionate appointment to the petitioners in time. After the Amendment Rule 2016 came into force, the petitioners were asked to submit a fresh application along with all documents at the District Education Officer. Although the select list was prepared, they were not given any appointment under Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme which is purely due to oblique motive.

Court's Observations:

The Court, at the outset, observed that the petitioners are not covered under the Amendment Rules, 2020 as they have submitted their applications as per the Orissa Civil Service (Rehabilitation Assistance) Rule, 1990. Hence, their cases should have been considered in a separate category i.e. pursuant to the Rules, 1990. It held, the Opp. Parties have delayed in not considering their cases and in this way, 7 years have elapsed. Again, it observed,

"It is improper to keep such case pending for years. If there is no suitable post for appointment supernumerary post should be created to accommodate the applicant. This view has been reiterated by the Supreme Court in the case of Smt. Sushma Gosain & Ors. vs Union Of India and Smt. Phoolwati v. Union Of India & Ors. Seven years of delay in the present case just goes on to show the callousness of the authorities."

Further, Justice Panigrahi placed reliance on the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Malaya Nanda Sethy v. State of Orissa & Ors., wherein it was observed,

"…considering the object and purpose of appointment on compassionate grounds, i.e., a family of a deceased employee may be placed in a position of financial hardship upon the untimely death of the employee while in service and the basis of policy is immediacy in rendering of financial assistance to the family of the deceased consequent upon his untimely death, the authorities must consider and decide such applications for appointment on compassionate grounds an per the policy prevalent, at the earliest, but not beyond a period of six months from the date of submission of such completed applications."

Accordingly, the Bench ordered the authorities to provide the petitioners with compassionate appointments in accordance to the Orissa Civil Service (Rehabilitation Assistance) Rules, 1990 within a period of three months.

Case Title: Pradip Kumar Sahoo v. Principal Secretary to Govt., School and Mass Education Deptt. & Ors.

Case No.: W.P.(C) Nos. 23682 & 23683 of 2021

Order Dated: 31st May 2022

Coram: Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi

Counsel for the Petitioners: Mr. Karunakar Rath, Advocate

Counsel for the Respondents: Mr. Biswajit Mohanty, Standing Counsel

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ori) 95

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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