The Supreme Court has held in an order that compassionate employment is not a vested right.
A Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna said the compassionate employment scheme was intended to enable a bereaved family tide over financial crisis caused by the untimely death of a breadwinner while in service.
“Compassionate appointment is not a matter of right, but is to enable the family to tide over an immediate crisis which may result from the death of the employee,” the court noted.
It said the authorities were allowed to use their discretion to evaluate the financial position of the family.
“Undoubtedly, pension is not an act of bounty, but is towards the service which has been rendered by an employee. However, in evaluating a claim for compassionate appointment, it is open to the authorities to evaluate the financial position of the family upon the death while in service,” the Supreme Court has observed.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Union government against a Madras High Court judgment which upheld a Central Administrative Tribunal direction to consider the compassionate appointment of the widow of a sergeant in the Air Force, who had died of cancer in 2008.