S.No.11 – Remove the arbitrary ceiling on compassionate appointments

Standing Committee Discussion Points S.No.11 – Remove the arbitrary ceiling on compassionate appointments

S.No.11 – Remove the arbitrary ceiling on compassionate appointments.

Chairman recapitulated the discussion held on this issue on 25.10.2016. It was noted that Establishment Division, DoPT had vide their letter dated 31.01.2017 informed that the proposal of the Staff-Side for removal of the upper ceiling for compassionate appointment in cases related to Group ID’ employees, and the proposal for enhancement from 5% to 10% ceiling for compassionate appointment in respect of Group ‘C’ employees had been examined and submitted for consideration of the Cabinet Secretary. The view that emerged was that with the issue of the two O.M. dated 14″ June 2006 and 9′ October 2006 adequate relief for regulating compassionate appointment cases had been provided. In view of this, and the legal compulsion that the limit of compassionate appointment has to be kept reasonable and to ensure that the provision is not declared unconstitutional violating the mandate of Articles 14 and 16 of the constitution, it has not been found feasible to enhance or remove the existing ceiling of 5% quota.

Staff-Side was of the view that there is reason to revisit the instructions. It was stated by them that 5% vacancies to be kept aside for filling up on compassionate grounds is to be counted from the overall vacancy position and not from the number of vacancies arising in a year. Ministry of Defence has both uniformed personnel and civilian employees. The wards of uniformed personnel are being granted compassionate appointment in Civil Posts within the 5%vacancy limit calculated from the Civilian vacancies. The vacancies in the Armed Forces are not taken into account for arriving at the 5% vacancies. This discriminatory and anomalous and hence Civilians are subjected to hardship. Therefore, the 5% quota may be separately calculated. It was also informed that with the approval of Hon’ble Raksha Mantri ji, a proposal had been sent to the DoPT for one-time measure in filling up of the vacancies on compassionate basis as there were a large number of vacancies. It was decided that these points and concerns would be looked into.

The Staff-Side further stated that the reasoning given in the Supreme Court judgement and which had been read out by JS(E) does not apply in Railways which employs almost 50% of Government employees. Even prior to the DoPT instructions, compassionate appointments were being made and it did not create any problem. Staff-Side explained that the essence of the judgement is that the facility should not be misused. However, the fact remains that even eligible persons are not being able to get appointment because of the ceiling imposed by DoPT. Also, due to reclassification, a number of posts of Group C have become Group B. Group D has been abolished. While the Group-A and Group-B employees are also eligible for compassionate appointment, the vacancies in Group-A and Group-B are not taken into account for deriving the 5% vacancies. They pointed out that while compassionate appointments are to be offered to family members of Group A and B officers, who die in harness, the vacancy of Group A&B is not counted for applying the ceiling of 5%. The Staff-Side also pointed out that on instructions from the DoPT, every Department has put in place a mechanism to screen all applications and verify whether the applicant is really in distressing situation and deserves to be offered appointment on compassionate ground. The Screening Committee is composed of senior officers and by virtue of the said scheme, in vogue, the allegation and fear of misuse is unfounded. They added that by prescribing 5% ceiling, deserving candidates are often denied appointment. Further, there is also a stipulation for considering application within 3 years though that has been set aside in some Court judgements. Staff-Side requested Chairman to take a decision on this alarming situation.

Chairman stated that in the last discussion it was seen that the ceiling has been held valid in court orders. He desired to know the genesis of non-application of the 5% limit on compassionate appointment in Railways. The Staff-Side replied by saying that it was in view of the large number of fatalities that often occur when the railway employees are in the field. So the Railways have been kept away from the ceiling on compassionate appointment. It was stated that the Supreme Court
never said that this be limited to 5% but it is to be ensured that the compassionate appointment is not misused. The court ruling should not be used to deny compassionate appointment to the deserving candidates.

Representatives of Ministry of Railways were requested to provide any data on the instances of giving compassionate appointment so that the issue could be further examined. It was also decided that the Ministry of Defence and DoPT would examine the issue in light of the points mentioned by the Staff Side.

{Action: DoPT/M/o Defence/ M/o Railways}