Death in harness|High Court rules on entitlement to job on compassionate grounds

J&K High Court on Monday ruled that the next-of-kin of an employee who dies in harness cannot improve qualification beyond time frame as stipulated under rules to claim appointment on compassionate basis against highest non-gazetted post.

“It is held that sub-rule (2) of Rule 3 of SRO 43 does not envisage permission or opportunity to a dependent family member of a government employee who dies in harness to enhance his qualification beyond the date of his application to be made within one year from the date of death of the deceased employee so as to claim appointment on compassionate basis against the highest or higher non-gazetted post,” ruled a bench of Justice Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Sanjay Dhar.

Dismissing an appeal filed by one Saqib Ayoub Khan, the division bench said it “respectfully disagree with the writ Court (single bench) that in terms of the Compassionate Appointment Rules, the eligibility has to be seen from the date of death of the government employee or that such a family has to acquire the requisite qualification within a period of six months from the date of death of the deceased”.

“The eligibility and qualification in terms of first proviso to sub-rule (1) of Rule 3 to conform to the prescribed eligibility and qualification for the lowest non-gazetted post or Class IV post can be acquired within five years from the date of death of the deceased employee and in terms of the second proviso to sub-rule (1), application for compassionate appointment can be made within one year from the date of death of the deceased employee,” the Court said, adding, “As a necessary corollary, such an applicant is granted the opportunity to acquire his eligibility and qualification not only for the lowest non-gazetted post or Class IV post, but also for the highest non-gazetted post even till filing of the application for compassionate appointment as well.”

Meanwhile, the Court said dismissal of the appeal, however, will not impact right of Khan to appointment in terms of the decision of the GAD as conveyed by Under Secretary, School Education department on March 8 to Director, School Education, to appoint the applicant against a lowest non-gazetted category post in district cadre Srinagar, under SRO-43 of 1994.