Compassionate employment cannot be granted after a significant lapse of time, says Supreme Court
Compassionate employment cannot be granted after a significant lapse of time, says Supreme Court
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In many cases, government or state-run companies offer a compassionate appointment to the dependent family member of an employee who faced any tragedy during the line of duty or who has retired on medical grounds or other reasons. Now the Supreme Court has observed that compassionate employment cannot be granted after a lapse of a reasonable period.

According to Live Law, the Apex Court stated that consideration of such employment is not a vested right that can be exercised at any time in the future. This was observed by a bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat.

This observation was made after the wife of a dismissed Central Coalfields Limited’s employee was missing since 2002, she requested for compassionate appointment. This appointment request was for her son. But this request was rejected as the employee was already dismissed from service and therefore, the request for a compassionate appointment could not be entertained.


The wife had given a writ petition in the Harayana High Court, which dismissed the order of termination by the company and directed the Central Coalfields Limited to consider the claim of compassionate appointment of the son in accordance with the law.


The company contended this order in the apex court. It was stated by the Supreme Court that compassionate employment cannot be given merely in the case of death in the family but only if the family is under financial crisis too as it lost its sole breadwinner.

The bench citing high court order added, “It was further asseverated in the said judgment that compassionate employment cannot be granted after a lapse of the reasonable period as the consideration of such employment is not a vested right that can be exercised at any time in the future. It was further held that the object of compassionate appointment is to enable the family to get over the financial crisis that it faces at the time of the death of sole breadwinner, the compassionate appointment cannot be claimed or offered after a significant lapse of time and after the crisis is over.”

It was found that there was no financial crisis soon after the employee went missing. So the court was convinced that the respondent's son cannot be given compassionate appointment at present. Meanwhile, the application for compassionate appointment of the son was filed by the respondent in the year 2013 which is more than 10 years after the respondent's husband had gone missing.

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