Compassionate Appointment IV

Learned Senior Counsel made a request to wait for a decision. “We do not consider it necessary to do so.”

Only after Reference to Larger Bench in State Bank of India v. Sheo Shankar Tewari, (2019) 5 SCC 600 this Court decided Indian Bank v. Promila, (2020) 2 SCC 729; N.C. Santhosh v. State of Karnataka, (2020) 7 SCC 617; State of Madhya Pradesh v. Amit Shrivas, (2020) 10 SCC 496 and State of Madhya Pradesh v. Ashish Awasthi, [Civil Appeal No. 6903 of 2021]. N.C. Santosh was by a Three-Judge Bench, which actually took note of Reference to Larger Bench

No one can claim to have a vested right for appointment on compassionate grounds. Though there is a conflict as to whether Scheme in force on date of death of employee would apply or Scheme in force on date of consideration of application of appointment on compassionate grounds would apply, there is certainly no conflict about underlying concern reflected. In cases where benefit under Existing Scheme was taken away or substituted with a lesser benefit, Court directed application of New Scheme. In cases where Modified Scheme granted larger benefits, Court applied Existing Scheme.

Out of two – (i) date of death of employee and (ii) date of consideration of application of appointment on compassionate grounds – date of death alone is a fixed factor; date of consideration of claim depends upon many variables.

If two employees die on same date and dependents of those employees apply on two different dates, one before New Scheme comes into force and another thereafter, they will come in for differential treatment if date of application is taken to be a deciding factor. A rule of interpretation which produces different results, depending upon what individuals do or do not do, is inconceivable.

We are of considered view, interpretation as to applicability of a Modified Scheme should depend only upon a determinate and fixed criteria such as date of death and not an indeterminate and variable factor. Coming to case on hand, merely because application for appointment was taken up for consideration after issue of Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) (7th Amendment) Rules, 2012, Bheemesh could not have sought benefit.

Hon’ble Justice V. Ramasubramanian [Two-Judge Bench], Secretary, Govt. Department of Education (Primary) v. Bheemesh, [Civil Appeal No. 7752 of 2021].