CHENNAI: No recruitment can be made on compassionate ground, if there is no vacancy available and the court cannot be swayed by sympathetic considerations, the Madras High Court has observed.
A division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal made the observation while allowing an appeal from the Central Excise department challenging the orders dated March 15, 2010 of the Madras bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). In this case, a driver of the Central Excise died while in service in February 2005. His wife submitted an application for a suitable job for her eldest daughter on compassionate ground.
The authorities said there was no vacancy available for providing compassionate appointment.
Hence, she moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, which in 2010 said that considering the fact that the delay had occurred for want of vacancy and was not on the part of the applicant, the case might be reconsidered in the next available vacancy in Group ‘C’ or ‘D’ posts.
Aggrieved, the Commissioner of Central Excise preferred the appeal. The Bench said that ordinarily, an employment in public service as a rule could be made based on open competition and merit. Any other method would defeat Article 14 and 16 of the Constitution. To this general rule, there were a few exceptions to meet the needs of State ideals. As a matter of fact, the discernible orders of the executive authorities provided for a scheme to make compassionate appointments.
The main reason for providing appointment on compassionate ground bypassing the regular recruitment procedure through open competition, was that an individual appointee would maintain those who were the dependants in the family of the deceased employee. Such an appointment was to grant minimum relief to the family of the deceased employee. However, in law, a compassionate appointment cannot be made if there are no vacancies available.
Moreover, a court of law cannot be swayed away by sympathetic considerations, the bench said, and upheld the central excise order.