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Ajit Singh v. State Of Up Thru' Secy. Deptt. Of Agriculture Up Lko. & Anr. - WRIT - A No. 43256 of 2001 [2004] RD-AH 893 (24 September 2004)


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Ajit Singh ...........................................................Petitioner


State of U.P. and another....................................Respondents.


Hon. Tarun Agarwala,J.

 Father of the petitioner was working as a Draftsman in the office of the Soil Conservation Officer, and died in harness on 8.2.1988. At the time of the death of the father, the petitioner was only a minor, and therefore, in the year 1996, the mother of the petitioner applied for the appointment of the petitioner under the Dying-in-Harness Rules. This application was rejected by the State Government by an order dated 30.3.2001, on the ground that the application was barred by time inasmuch as the application under the Dying-in-Harness Rules 1974 could be made within 5 years from the date of the death of the employee. This order of the State Government was challenged by the petitioner in Writ Petition No.30054 of 2001 which was allowed by judgment dated 13.8.2001. This Court held that in view of the amendment made in Rule 5 of the Rules, the application could be entertained even after the expiry of five years and that the authority had the power to entertain the application even after five years. The Court held that the amended Rule 5 was not considered by the authority and therefore remanded the matter back to the authority to consider the application of the petitioner afresh. Pursuant to the aforesaid judgment, the petitioner's mother moved a fresh application dated 17.9.2001 before the respondents praying that the petitioner may be appointed under the Dying-in-Harness Rules. The respondents again rejected the petitioner's application by the impugned order dated 19.11.2001 on the ground that the application was barred by time as the same had been filed after a lapse of 8 years and 9 months from the date of the death of the petitioner's father. Consequently, the petitioner has now preferred the writ petition.

Heard Miss Pooja Agarwal, the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel.

From a perusal of Rule 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Recruitment of Dependants of Government Servants Dying in Harness Rules, 1974, it is clear that the period of five years for making an application for an appointment on compassionate grounds could be relaxed in certain cases where it causes undue hardship, etc. Admittedly, in the present case, the petitioner was a minor when his father had died and his mother could not apply for the job as she had to look after the petitioner. The petitioner could not apply within five years as he was a minor and could only apply when he became a major.  In my view, this was an exceptional circumstance which ought to have been considered by the respondents and, in the given case, the delay should have been condoned.

Rules of 1974 have been made for the benefit of the dependants. Rules of 1974 is a beneficial piece of legislation and the provisions have to be construed liberally. A humanitarian approach should be adopted by the respondents to see and ensure that the family does not live in penury and that a member of the family should be given some means to earn a livelihood and, therefore, some source of livelihood should be provided to enable the family to make both ends meet.

In my view, in the present case, the respondents should  have adopted a humanitarian approach and should not have rejected the application of the petitioner on a mere technicality. Consequently, the writ petition is allowed. The order dated 19.11.2001, passed by the State Government, respondent No.1, is quashed. The delay in filing the application is condoned and the matter is remanded back to the State Government to decide the application of the petitioner for appointment on compassionate ground on merits and if the petitioner fulfills other requirements, the State Government is directed to give an appointment under the Dying-in-Harness Rules within a period of three months from the date of production of a certified copy of this judgment before the authority concerned.




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