HC finds new way to tackle delay in compassionate appointments

Says if applications not considered within 3 months then they will be entitled for wages attached to post to which they are eligible

Noticing years of delay in considering applications seeking appointment on compassionate grounds despite the short deadline set in law, the High Court of Karnataka has devised a new way to tackle this by making the authorities, responsible for ‘unreasonable’ delay, pay damages by way of wages that the applicant could get if appointed.

“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,” it observed.

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 HC pointed out that the Karnataka Civil Services (Appointment on Compassionate Grounds) Rules, 1996, stated that the application for appointment on compassionate grounds should be made within a year from the date of death of the government servant. The Rule, it said, also specifies that such applications shall be considered as far as possible within three months.

It declared the authority empowered to consider applications for compassionate appointment should henceforth consider and dispose of applications within three months from the date of receipt.

“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 had been considered and granted,” it said.

In the petitioner’s case, it said he would be entitled to get monthly salary in the lowest post of Group-C till his application is considered as per the law if the government failed to adhere to the deadline.

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