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"Suitable Employment" For Compassionate Appointment Must Be Understood With Reference To The Post Held By The Deceased Employee: Supreme Court

Ashok KM
12 Aug 2022 2:23 PM GMT
Suitable Employment For Compassionate Appointment Must Be Understood With Reference To The Post Held By The Deceased Employee: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that "suitable employment" for compassionate appointment must be understood with reference to the post held by the deceased employee.

The superior qualification held by a dependent cannot determine the scope of the words "suitable employment", the bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy observed while interpreting Rule 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependents of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974.

In this case, the son of a deceased employee who was a graduate with computer literacy, was offered a post of Sweeper (the post which was held by his late father) as compassionate appointment. He rejected this offer and filed a representation seeking appointment as Gram Panchayat Officer, a post which is borne on the cadre of Class-III post. As this representation was rejected, he approached the High Court which then dismissed his writ petition.

Before the Apex Court, Senior Advocate Arijit Prasad, who appeared for the appellant, contended that the question of suitability need not be decided with reference to the post which was held by the deceased employee. On the other hand Advocate Ruchira Goel, who represented the State of Uttar Pradesh, submitted that, when the employee who passed away was borne on the Class-IV cadre, the dependents cannot stake a claim to a Class-III appointment.

The bench noted that, in this case, the death of the employee took place not too far away, namely, it took place on 23.11.2016. Therefore, this is not a case where the link between the date of the death and the time for consideration of the matter by this Court has snapped, it said. The court, referring to State of Uttar Pradesh And Others versus Premlata (2022) 1 SCC 30, further observed:

"The father of the appellant was working as a Sweeper borne in Class-IV post. We have noticed the view taken by this Court in Premlata (supra). In other words, the law as declared is to the effect that the words "suitable employment" in Rule 5 must be understood with reference to the post held by the deceased employee. The superior qualification held by a dependent cannot determine the scope of the words "suitable employment"".

The bench agreed to the appellant's request to consider the case of the appellant for appointment as a Sweeper at least. Partly allowing the appeal, it said:

"It may be true that the appellant may have been on the advice given persuaded to litigate the matter and persevere in his claim for a specific post. It may be true that there were rounds of litigation but as we have already noticed bearing in mind the date of the death of the employee, the claim of the appellant may not be said to be afflicted with such delay as should deprive him and the family of the deceased of relief of the appellant being appointed as a Sweeper, a right which is given under the statutory Rule."

Case details

Suneel Kumar vs State of UP | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 675 | CA 5038 OF 2022 | 2 August 2022 | Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy

Headnotes

Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependents of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974 ; Rule 5 - Suitable Employment - The words "suitable employment" must be understood with reference to the post held by the deceased employee. The superior qualification held by a dependent cannot determine the scope of the words "suitable employment" - Referred to State of Uttar Pradesh And Others versus Premlata (2022) 1 SCC 30. (Para 10)

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