-Report by Nandini Gupta
In the case of The State of Maharashtra and Anr. v. Ms. Madhuri Maruti Vidhate, Hon’ble Justice M.R. Shah ordered that appointment on the mere grounds of compassionate after several years is unsustainable.
The father of the respondent died in harness while working in clerical cadre with the appellants. Following this incident, the mother of the respondent i.e., the wife of the deceased was given an appointment on the grounds of compassion. But she also died in service. On 18th August 2011, the elder daughter (elder sister of the respondent) submitted an application for an appointment on the grounds of compassion which got rejected as she was married and not dependent on the deceased parents. Later, after two years on 26th February 2013, government issued another notice instructing to provide employment to one of the legal heirs and representatives of the deceased government servant on the grounds of compassion.
In the following next month, another daughter (respondent) of the deceased mother who is also married submitted an application asking to provide employment on the grounds of compassion. This application was also rejected dated 23rd April 2013. The respondent filed an application in Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal and High Court of Judicature at Bombay where the judgement was in favor of the respondents ordering to consider the appointment on compassionate grounds.
The court while delivering the judgement considered the precedents where it was ordered that the appointment on compassionate grounds for all the vacancies or posts of the government equal opportunity should be provided to all the aspirants as per Article 14 (Equality before Law) and Article 16 (Equality of Opportunity in Matters of Employment under the State) of Constitution of India.
Moreover, the appointment on compassionate grounds is merely a concession instead of a right granted for the sake of economic stability to the family member or one of the dependent of the deceased. Reference was made to the case of Mumtaz Yunus Mulani v. State of Maharashtra [(2008) 11 SCC 384] where the court has adopted the principle that appointment on compassionate grounds is not a source or gateway for recruitment, instead it is a way to walk over the sudden financial crisis suffered by the deceased of the family.
The Supreme Court considering all the facts of the case and precedents, quashed the order passed by the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal and High Court and dismissed the writ petition. The court observed that the High Court of Judicature at Bombay and Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal have given an erroneous decision by directing the appellants to appoint the respondents on the grounds of compassion when appointment after several years of death of the mother is unjustifiable.