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Central Coalfields Limited vs. Parden Oraon - (Supreme Court) (09 Apr 2021)

Compassionate employment cannot be granted after a lapse of reasonable period



The Respondent requested the Appellants to appoint her son in the place of his father who was missing since 2002 which was rejected. Aggrieved thereby, the Respondent filed a writ petition in the High Court. The writ petition was allowed and the appeal filed by the Appellant was dismissed by the Division Bench of the High Court. Hence, present appeal.

The whole object of granting compassionate appointment is to enable the family to tide over the sudden crisis which arises due to the death of the sole breadwinner. The mere death of an employee in harness does not entitle his family to such source of livelihood. The authority concerned has to examine the financial condition of the family of the deceased, and it is only if it is satisfied that, the family will not be able to meet the crisis, then the job is offered to the eligible member of the family. Further, compassionate employment cannot be granted after a lapse of reasonable period as the consideration of such employment is not a vested right which can be exercised at any time in the future. It was further held that, the object of compassionate appointment is to enable the family to get over the financial crisis that it faces at the time of the death of sole breadwinner, compassionate appointment cannot be claimed or offered after a significant lapse of time and after the crisis is over.

The Respondent’s husband is missing since 2002. Two sons of the Respondent, who are the dependents of her husband as per the records, are also shown as dependents of the Respondent. It cannot be said that, there was any financial crisis created immediately after Respondent’s husband went missing in view of the employment of the Respondent. Though the reasons given by the employer to deny the relief sought by the Respondent are not sustainable, present Court is convinced that the Respondent’s son cannot be given compassionate appointment at this point of time. The application for compassionate appointment of the son was filed by the Respondent in the year 2013 which is more than 10 years after the Respondent’s husband had gone missing. As the object of compassionate appointment is for providing immediate succour to the family of a deceased employee, the Respondent’s son is not entitled for compassionate appointment after the passage of a long period of time since his father has gone missing. The judgment of the High Court is set aside. Appeal allowed.


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