Monday, September 26, 2022

Allahabad HC dismisses adopted son’s plea for compassionate appointment

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The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition, saying the year in which the petitioner had sought appointment, then the term “adopted son” was not included under the definition of family.

A single-judge bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Sanjay Kumar Singh.

The writ petition was filed in 2003 and was dismissed in default on 11.11.2005. A restoration application was filed on 30.08.2007 along with delay condonation application, i.e, after one year and eleven months. Thereafter, the matter remained pending before the Court.

The petitioner claimed to be an adopted son of late Ram Achal Singh through an adoption deed dated 23.10.1990. Ram Achal Singh died in harness on 31.01.1995. The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the petitioner was given assurance for compassionate appointment, therefore, he remained silent. However, on 17.08.1999, he submitted an application for compassionate appointment. Meanwhile, a declaratory suit was also filed by petitioner, which was allowed in his favour and he was declared adopted son of late Ram Achal Singh.

The counsel for the petitioner further submitted that application of petitioner for compassionate appointment remained pending before respondents and on 17.10.2001 Respondent-2 sent a communication to petitioner wherein the adoption deed was doubted. In these circumstances, the petitioner again moved an application on 12.11.2001. However, by means of the order dated 15.09.2003, the claim of petitioner was rejected on the ground that adopted son was not included in the definition of ‘family’ under Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependents of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974. The order is under challenge in writ petition.

The counsel for petitioner also submitted that cause of petitioner still survives and adopted son is now included in the definition of family, therefore, his claim may be considered and petitioner be appointed on compassionate ground.

Standing Counsel for State-Respondents submitted that Ram Achal Singh died way back on 31.01.1995, i.e, 27 years ago, therefore, even though the petitioner has purported right of compassionate appointment, it could not be considered at such a belated stage.

The Court held,

In the case, it is not in dispute that Ram Achal Singh died 1995 and petitioner for the first time approached respondents on 17.08.1999, i.e, after more than four years. Thereafter, the petitioner remained silent for some time and again approached respondents in 2001 and ultimately, the petitioner was rejected on the ground that adopted son is not included in the definition of ‘family’.

Definition of ‘family’ in Rules, 1974 was limited to relations, namely, (i) wife or husband; (ii) sons; (iii) unmarried and widowed daughter. Thereafter an amendment was carried out which was published in UP Gazette dated 22.12.2011 wherein adopted son was also included. Therefore, the order dated 15.09.2003 cannot be faulted since at that time the adopted son was not included under the definition of ‘family’.

“There is another aspect which also goes against the petitioner. As held in P. Venkatesh (supra) and Parden Oraon (supra) the object of compassionate appointment is to tide over the immediate financial crisis suffered by the bereaved family due to the unexpected death of the employee concerned. The substantial delay in the case is now more than 27 years which goes against the claim of the petitioner. Therefore, the claim of petitioner was rightly rejected by impugned order as well as considering the claim of petitioner for compassionate appointment at belated stage, after 27 years of death of his father, cannot be sustained. Compassionate appointment cannot be claimed or offered after a significant lapse of time and after crisis is over,” the Court observed while dismissing the writ petition.

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