Compassionate appointment not a vested right of dependent of a deceased employee, if required to fulfil certain criteria

Kerala High Court: In a petition challenging the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ernakulum, that had directed the petitioner company to consider the respondent’s application for his appointment on compassionate grounds on the death of his father, was allowed and a Bench comprising of P.R. Ramchandran Menon and Shircy V., JJ. held that the respondent was not entitled for such an appointment.

The petitioner, relying on a decision of the Supreme Court, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited v. Rajesh [2015 (2) KLT 478], contended that a new policy had been introduced in 2007 to bring about uniformity in such cases while the respondent’s father expired in 2005. The new policy also took into consideration whether the applicant had fulfilled the eligibility criteria and whether any vacancy was available. Since the criteria were unfulfilled, the company had refused appointment. Also, the aforementioned case along with other cases decided by the Supreme Court had made it clear that the “date to be considered is the date of consideration of the application and not the date of death of the employee” depending on the vested right on the applicant.

The Court rejected the arguments of the respondents since the cases they had relied on were not precedents to this case and following the established law held that “when earlier scheme is abolished and is replaced by a new scheme; all applications will have to be considered by the new scheme.” [Chairman-cum-Managing Director, BSNL v. Syam Kumar, 2017 SCC OnLine Ker 7963, decided on 20.06.2017]

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