Taking notice of appointments on compassionate grounds to two family members of slain Kunda DSP Ziaul Haque,the Allahabad High Court has questioned the state government on whether it was following a uniform policy in offering such appointments. The court has fixed April 24 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
The court directed that the Principal Secretary (Appointment and Personnel) be impleaded as a respondent and asked him to explain the states position on the matter. It has also directed him to inform the court about the deliberations that have been carried out following an order of February 11,in which it was said that all the pending cases pertaining to compassionate appointments be disposed of expeditiously.
Passing the order on Tuesday,a single judge bench of Justice A P Sahi said,Even though the said rules (Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependants of Government Servant Dying-in-Harness Rules,1974) provide for extension of benefit on compassionate ground to only one member of the family of the deceased employee,yet the state government has offered appointment to two persons of the same family. Judicial notice can be taken of the appointment order dated March 8,2013,of Smt Parveen Azad (wife of late Haque) and Sri Sohrab Ali (Haques brother),issued by the state government on compassionate basis due to the unfortunate demise of a police officer while on duty.
The court further said that if the state government has altered its policy under the 1974 rules,then it has to explain as to under what authority of law that has been done. And if it is lawful then why such hostile discrimination is being practiced in relation to other departments,including educational institutions that have similar rules, the court said.
DSP Haque was killed in Balipur village under Kunda circle of Pratapgarh while trying to control a law and order situation on March 2 that was triggered by the murder of the village pradhan Nanhey Yadav. Yadavs younger brother Suresh was also killed in the incident. Subsequently,the government had offered compassionate appointment to his wife and brother.
The court passed the order while hearing the petition of one Seema Devi seeking compassionate appointment following the death of her husband,a serving government school teacher. In November,2012,the authorities concerned had extended the benefit of compassionate appointment to her husbands first wife Rekha Devi. But Seema claimed that she deserved the appointment as she was the legally wedded wife when her husband died.
The court said,The present is a case where prima facie the petitioner and the respondent No. 6 (Rekha Devi) are the wives of an employee,then the state government has to explain why the second benefit should not be extended to the petitioner.
The court pointed out that while in some cases,as was the case of the slain DSPs family,appointment on compassionate grounds were quickly extended,there were many other claimants who were left to knock the courts door seeking redressal for their grievances in this regard.
The court said,The rule of compassionate appointment in whatever department has the same underlying principle of providing succour to the bereaved family in a crisis. The dependants,therefore,are all of the same class of victims and recipients. Their plight is based on a common happening,namely the death of an employee in harness. The question is,can the state afford to have different policies in different departments of the same contingency?