An employee appointed on compassionate grounds cannot be allowed to challenge later the seniority assigned once it is accepted unconditionally, the Central Administrative Tribunal has held.
"Compassionate appointments are certainly made for a particular purpose and if later the person is found unfit for the job, employer must also have rights," the principal bench of CAT, headed by Justice M Ramachandran, said.
The ruling came on an application of Savita Malhotra, an upper division clerk, posted at Railway Board in New Delhi, who had sought parity in seniority with other employees appointed through regular selection process.
Dismissing the application, the bench termed Malhotra's appointment due to sudden death of her husband as "purely ad hoc and not regular".
"The very fact that if the government, as a model employer has thought fit to grant compassionate appointment, must not lead to situation that the concerned employee can take advantage of this largesse," the bench, also comprising member Neena Ranjan, said.
Malhotra was appointed by Indian Railways on August 20, 1983 on special terms and conditions. She worked at Lucknow and was later transferred to the Railway Board in New Delhi.
Malhotra had accepted the date of seniority as May 1, 1987, in response to a memorandum which had laid down the conditions that the appointment was purely temporary and seniority will be from the date shown against each person.
It was also made clear that she would rank junior to all the other candidates appointed on the basis of examinations in the 1985.