Proposal on Appointment on Compassionate Grounds submitted by NC, JCM to 7th CPC
Proposal on Appointment on Compassionate Grounds submitted by NC, JCM to 7th CPC – Appointment within 3 months and removal of 5% ceiling
As the nomenclature suggests, compassion is to be kept at the centre stage of the scheme of compassionate appointment. The objective of the scheme is to provide immediate assistance to the family of a Government employee who died in harness to tide over the sudden crisis. It is to be viewed as a sacred assurance to a fresh entrant in Government service that if unfortunately he expires while in service, his family would not be left in lurch/in destitute conditions. This scheme has been interpreted by the Supreme Court in many cases. The leading judgements of the Supreme Court are the following:
(i) Umesh kumar Nagpal Vs State of Haryana & Others[Jt.1994(3)SC525] judgement dated 4.5.94
(ii) Auditor General of India and others Vs G.Ananta Rajeswar Rao [(1994) ISSC 192] judgement dated 8.4.93.
(iii) Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs Mrs Asha Ramachandra Ambedkar and Others [ Jt. 1994(2) SC 185] judgement dated 28.2.95
(iv) Himachal Road Transport Corporation Vs Dineshkumar [Jt.1996(5)SC319] judgement dated 7.5.96
(v) Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd Vs Smt A.Ridhika Thiruwalal [Jt. 1996(9)SC197] judgement dated 9.10.96
(vi) State of Haryana & Others Vs Rani Devi & Others [Jt.1996(6)SC 696] judgement dated 15.7.96.
On going through the judgments one could infer that Supreme Court also upholds the relevance of this policy. The Court had tried only to ensure that this policy is implemented in an orderly and logical manner. It is unfortunate that the above judgements and particularly the Nagpal case (item no. 1 supra) was very often misquoted and misrepresented as if the Supreme Court has banned the appointment on compassionate ground.
The Supreme Court in Nagpal case laid down the following important principles.
(1) Only dependents of an employee dying in harness leaving his family in penury and without any means of livelihood can be appointed on compassionate grounds.
(2) The posts in Group C and D alone can be offered for compassionate ground appointments.
(3) The whole object of granting compassionate appointment is to enable the family to tide out the sudden crisis (death –premature retirement on medical ground) and to relieve the family of the deceased/premature retired from financial difficulties and to help it get over the emergency.
(4) Compassionate appointments cannot be granted after a lapse of a reasonable period of time and it is not a vested right which can be exercised at any time in future.Nowhere in this judgement it has been stated that compassionate ground appointments should be restricted by imposing a ceiling.
However, the Department of Personnel and Training in their OM dated 29.6.95 imposed a ceiling of 5% of vacancies in direct recruit quota in Group D and Group C for making appointments on compassionate grounds.
The Central Government employees organisations have been pleading since 1996 in the National Council JCM that this ceiling, being irrational may be withdrawn but in vain. Taking into account various factors, especially the welfare of the employees and workers, Railways devised the compassionate appointment scheme without enforcing the stipulation of the ceiling evolved by the Department of Personnel.
Once the high power committee decides that an applicant for appointment on compassionate ground is a deserving candidate, not to offer him such appointment on the plea that there is no vacancy available due to such unwarranted ceiling is negation of the very compassion on the basis of which this scheme has been envisaged.
Therefore there is a valid case for lifting this discriminatory and arbitrary ceiling . A large number of applicants seeking appointment on compassionate grounds though found eligible have not been offered appointments. The direct recruit quota has shrunk due to the decision to ban creation of posts and insist that the Departments should abolish two thirds vacancies.
As per the said order two third posts which became vacant must be abolished and then only the rest could be filled in. However after much pursuance it was agreed that 5% would be computed taking all the vacancies into account for not 1/3rd of the vacancies. Even then the position continues to be acute. We refer to the twenty third report on Government Policy of Appointments on Compassionate Grounds presented to the Rajya Sabha on 7th September, 2007 ( laid on the table of the Lok Sabha on 7.9.2007) and request the Commission to recommend the following:
1. To remove the 5 % ceiling
2. To ensure that compassionate appointment to the deserving candidates are given within 3 months of the date of death of the employee.
3. In case of any administrative delay in offering compassionate appointment the deserving applicants may be granted minimum of the pay scale of the post on which his application will be considered.