Compassionate appointment is not a right

Delhi HC says the dependent of a deceased employee is given a job as a concession and that it cannot be demanded as a right.


When an employee dies, his/her dependent is given a job only as a concession, to help sail through the crisis that the family would otherwise face by the sudden demise of the bread winner. This job given on compassionate grounds cannot be demanded by the dependents as a right. It is just a concession given to the dependents by the employers of the deceased.

This observation was made by the Delhi High Court while hearing a case wherein the petitioner, the wife of an employee of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation who had lost his life in a road accident.

In 2008, post her husband’s death, the employee had sought compassionate employment for her son. However, the Corporation had discontinued the scheme four years before the death of her husband. This was conveyed to the petitioner, following which the petitioner had opted for the monetary benefits instead. That is, all the monetary benefits her husband would have received if he had been alive and working at the Corporation till his retirement.

This benefit was a huge sum of about of Rs. 58,88,990, which included the employees’ provident fund (EPF), gratuity, pension, annuity and so on.

Despite receiving this monetary entitlement, she still demanded a compassionate job for her son, even after being informed that the scheme for compassionate appointment had been withdrawn.

As per, the single judge bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh reiterated that the very purpose of ompassionate appointment is to help the survivors of a deceased employee to get through the crisis that befalls them without warning. A job on compassionate grounds to a dependent is a concession and cannot be demanded as a right.

Also, the Court observed that the sum of over Rs 58 lakh that she had been granted as monetary benefit would have sufficed for her and her family to comfortably get through the sudden crisis that may have been caused due to the death of her spouse. Post availing this she should not have sought compassionate appointment, which in this case was not an option being offered by the Corporation anyway w.e.f 2004, four years before her spouse’s demise.

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