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Mukesh Kumar Vs. Union of India & Ors [2007] Insc 897 (5 September 2007)

Dr. Arijit Pasayat & D.K. Jain

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4058 OF 2007 (Arising out of SLP(C) No. 15480 of 2005) Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. Challenge in this appeal is to the order dated 18.3.2005 passed by the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court dismissing the writ petition filed by the appellant. By the said writ petition, the appellant had challenged correctness of the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench (hereinafter referred to as 'CAT') dismissing his Original Application (in short 'OA').

3. Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:

The appellant's father retired on medical grounds and was receiving invalid pension. At the relevant point of time, the appellant was minor and was studying in school. He appeared in Punjab School Education Board Senior Secondary (12th class) Examination, which was held in the month of March, 1997. The result of the examination was declared on 19th May, 1998. Thereafter, the appellant filed an application for the post of clerk seeking compassionate appointment. His date of birth is 12th June, 1980. The application was made on 20th July, 1998. The application was rejected by the Post Master General, Punjab Region, Chandigarh by order dated 18.10.1999. The application was rejected only on the ground "family was not found to be financially in indigent condition".

4. An appeal was filed before the Director General, Post Office, New Delhi, wherein it was stated that the father of the appellant was getting Rs.1783/- per month, was bed-ridden for more than 11 years due to paralytic attack and the appellant had no moveable and immovable property anywhere in the country and was not employed anywhere. The appeal was rejected. The appellant moved Central Administrative Tribunal by filing an OA, which was rejected on the ground that there was inordinate delay of 15 years in filing the application. The writ petition questioning correctness of the said order, as noted above, was dismissed by the High Court.

5. Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that both CAT and the High Court proceeded on a factually incorrect premise. CAT proceeded on the basis as if father was rendered unfit medically because of paralytic attack in 1988 and was retired in 1988. Actually and indisputably, the father had retired in 1994. The application made by the appellant was rejected in 1999 and the appeal was dismissed by order dated 17th February, 2000. Therefore, the question of 15 years' delay did not arise. The High Court proceeded on the basis as if the appellant's father had died in 1994 and the claim for compassionate appointment was raised for the first time after about ten years. In fact the father had not died and had retired and the application was not made after about ten years. In fact, immediately after passing the Senior Secondary Examination, the application was made for the post of clerk since the minimum qualification was passing of Senior Secondary Examination, which was held in the year 1997 and the result was declared in May, 1998. The application was made immediately thereafter. In essence, it is submitted that the findings recorded by the CAT and the High Court are unsustainable.

6. In response, the learned counsel for the respondent submitted that for compassionate appointment the consideration is the need to urgent financial needs. As the appellant was prosecuting studies after his father's retirement, it has to be presumed that the family was not in indigent condition. It is to be noted that the appellant's application was rejected on the ground that the family was not found to be in financially indigent condition.

7. There is no indication as to on the basis of which materials the conclusion was arrived at. It is also not clear as to what were the materials before the Circle Level Selection Committee to conclude that the family was not in financially indigent condition. To add to it, both CAT and the High Court proceeded on factually erroneous premises, as has been highlighted by the appellant and noted supra. Above being the position, the appeal deserves to be allowed, which we direct.

The orders of the Central Administrative Tribunal and the High Court are set aside. The matter is remitted to the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh Bench for fresh hearing.

Parties shall be permitted to place materials in support of their respective stand.

8. The appeal is accordingly allowed with no order as to costs.

 

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