Friday, November 12, 2010
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE N.PAUL VASANTHAKUMAR
W.P.No.21888 of 2010
M.P.Nos.1 and 2 of 2010
1.The Secretary to Government,
Fort St. George, Chennai-9.
2.The Chief Engineer,
Agriculture Engineering Department,
No.487, Anna Salai,
3.The Assistant Executive Engineer,
Agriculture Engineering Department,
Petition filed under Article 226 of The Constitution of India praying to issue a writ of certiorarified mandamus to call for the records relating to the third respondent herein in Letter No.A1/2571/98 dated 03.09.2009 and the order of the second respondent herein in Letter No.Pension 2/42172/2006 dated 14.06.2010 and quash the same and consequently direct the respondents herein to confer the compassionate ground appointment to the petitioner's son A.Sakthivelu forthwith.
For Petitioner .. Mr.R.S.Anandan
For Respondents .. Mr.S.Sivashanmugam,
The prayer in the writ petition is to quash the order dated 14.06.2010 declining the request of the petitioner seeking compassionate appointment to the petitioner's son on the ground that the claim of compassionate appointment can be made only within three years from the date of death of the deceased person and on that date, the person seeking compassionate appointment should have completed 18 years of age.
2.The case of the petitioner is that the petitioner's husband was employed as an Assistant Foreman in the office of the second respondent and he died in harness on 04.10.1998, leaving the petitioner and her two children. The petitioner, being the widow of the deceased, applied for compassionate appointment in the year 2000 before the Assistant Executive Engineer,
3.Relying upon the said judgment, learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the impugned order may be set aside and the second respondent may be directed to reconsider the request of the petitioner seeking compassionate appointment to her son A.Sakthivel.
4.The learned Government Advocate relying on G.O.Ms.No.120 Labour and Employment Department dated 26.6.1995 and based on written instructions, argued the matter. He submitted that the impugned order has been passed in accordance with the Government Order and the same is sustainable.
5.I have considered the rival submissions. The petitioner's husband died on 4.10.1998 while in service. The petitioner applied for compassionate appointment on 21.9.1999. She submitted relevant records pursuant to the letter of the third respondent dated 2.10.2000. All the records were furnished by the petitioner and the second respondent forwarded the proposal to the first respondent on 16.2.2001. According to the respondents, Government issued ban order on 29.11.2001. Hence, the petitioner's application was not considered. On 1.12.2006, the petitioner requested that instead of giving her appointment, her son A.Sakthivel may be given compassionate appointment as he has passed S.S.L.C. and completed 18 years of age in the year 2005. The reason being the petitioner was aged 53 years by that time. The first respondent has not considered the claim of the petitioner for over nine years. The said request is rejected through the impugned order dated 3.9.2009 and 14.6.2010. The Government order relied on by the first respondent reads as follows:-
Copy of G.O.Ms.No.120, Labour and Employment Department, dated 26.6.95.
Abstract:- Public Services Scheme of compassionate ground Appointments modifications issued.
i.G.O.Ms.No.225, Labour and Employment dated 15.2.72.
ii.G.O.Ms.No.560, Labour and Employment dated 3.8.77.
iii.G.O.Ms.No.1579, Labour and Employment dated 21.7.81.
iv.Government Lr.No.2563/N1/82-2, Labour and Employment
v.Govt. Lr.No.43242/M1/61-9, Labour and Employment dated
vi.Government Letter No.4810/91/95-3, Labour and
Employment dated 28.2.95.
The Tamil Nadu Administrative Tribunal,
2.Simultaneously, the Government also reviewed the existing orders under the scheme. After careful review the Government issue the following modifications to the Scheme.
1. The application for appointment on compassionate grounds should be made within three years of the death of Government servant;
2. The maximum age limit for such appointment be raised to 50 in the case of widows of the deceased Government servants.
This order will take effect from the date of the issue of order.
(By order of the Governor)
Secretary to Government
/ True copy /
6.In the Government Order, it is not stated whether in deserving cases relaxation can be given or not. In the decision reported in (2006) 9 SCC 195 (cited supra) similar case was considered. In paras 4 to 6, it is held as follows:-
"4.We have heard the appellant's counsel and counsel for the respondent. Counsel for the appellant points out that after the death of the government servant his wife submitted an application and it was rejected without giving any reasons and the counsel for the State submits that the same must have been rejected as it was not in the prescribed format. If the applicant had not submitted the application in the prescribed format the State authorities should have asked the applicant to submit the application in the prescribed format giving out the details of the procedure. In the matters of compassionate appointments the authorities should extend the service in an effective manner so that the eligible candidate may avail the opportunity. Though the orders of rejection of the application of the appellant's mother was not challenged the appellant pursued the matter and submitted the application later. The contention of the counsel for the State is that the application filed after 5 years after the date of death of the government employee will not be considered and he further submitted that the application filed on 07.09.1995 was rightly rejected by the authorities.
5.we are unable to accept the contention of the counsel for the State. In the instant case, the widow had applied for appointment within the prescribed period and without assigning any reasons the same was rejected. When the appellant submitted the application he was 13 years old and the application was rejected after a period of six years and that too without giving any reason and the reason given by the authorities was incorrect as at the time of rejection of the application he must have crossed 18 years and he could have been very well considered for appointment. Of course, in the rules framed by the State there is no specific provision as to what should be done in case the dependents are minors and there would be any relaxation of age in case they did not attain majority within the prescribed period for submitting application.
6.As the widow had submitted the application in time the authorities should have considered her application. As eleven years have passed she would not be in a position to join the government service. In our opinion, this is a fit case where the appellant should have been considered in her place for appointment. Counsel for the State could not point out any other circumstance for which the appellant would be disentitled to be considered for appointment. In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, we direct the respondent authorities to consider the application of the appellant and give him appropriate appointment within a reasonable time at least within a period of three months. The appeal is disposed of in the above terms."
7.By applying the judgment of the Supreme Court and having regard to the fact that the petitioner has applied for compassionate appointment on 21.09.1999, which was processed only in the year 2008 for one reason or other and having regard to the age of the petitioner as on the date of the impugned order and as on today, the impugned order is set aside with a direction to the second respondent to consider the claim of the petitioner seeking appointment of the petitioner's son A.Sakthivel on compassionate grounds in the light of the judgment of the Supreme Court cited supra and pass fresh orders within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
8.The writ petition is allowed on the above terms. No costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.