The Karnataka High Court recently said that failure to consider applications seeking appointment on compassionate grounds within a period of three months will make authorities liable to pay damages if the appointment is eventually granted in the case Hruthik N vs The Deputy Director of Public.
"Keeping the application pending for years or months will defeat the object of framing the Rule for grant of appointment on compassionate grounds. It is trite that a family that loses its breadwinner would be driven to impecuniosity or become condemned by penury. Therefore, the need for immediate consideration of such representations/applications for appointment on compassionate grounds is paramount,” the court observed.
Facts of the case
Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while directing the government to consider within 8 weeks the 5-year-old application of Hruthik N., who sought compassionate appointment following the death of his father, a headmaster in a government-aided school in Mysuru. The petitioner was seeking a compassionate appointment after the demise of his father, a headmaster in a government school.
The court then referred to Rule 5 and Rule 6 (2) of the Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules, 1996. The Rule 5, mandates that a dependent of a deceased Government Servant, seeking appointment under these rules shall make an application within one year from the date of death of the Government servant. Sub-Rule (1) and (2) of Rule 6 mandates that in terms of the applications given the same shall be considered as far as possible within three months from the date of receipt of an application under Rule 5.
Therefore, the Rule that directs appointments shall be made as far as possible within a period of three months cannot but be held to be mandatory. Therefore, the authority empowered to consider applications for compassionate appointment shall consider and dispose of the same within the mandate of sub- Rule (2) of Rule 6 i.e., three months from the date of receipt of the application.
Any unreasoned or unjustifiable delay on the part of the Authority competent to consider would make such Authority personally responsible to pay damages to such applicant by way of wages that the applicant would be entitled to if an appointment has been considered and granted.In the present case, the Court proceeded based department of Secondary and Primary Education to reconsider the case of the petitioner for appointment on the basis of compassionate grounds.