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Sanjay Kumar Shukla v. Chief G.M. S.B.I. & Another - WRIT - A No. 35027 of 2001  RD-AH 10910 (4 July 2006)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.35027 of 2001
Sanjay Kumar Shukla Vs. Chief General Manager, State Bank of India
Hon'ble V.C. Misra, J.
Heard Shri M. Sarwar Khan learned counsel for the petitioner and Shri Vipin Sinha learned counsel for the respondents. Counter and rejoinder affidavits have been exchanged and on the request of learned counsel for the parties this writ petition is being decided finally at the admission stage itself in terms of the Rules of the Court.
The facts of the case in brief are that the father of the petitioner who was an ex Air Force personnel working with the respondent-bank as Assistant (Accounts/Cash) died in harness on 7.7.2000 leaving behind his one married son (petitioner) aged 24 years and three married daughters. Vide application dated 5.8.2000 the petitioner requested the respondent-bank to grant him appointment in the bank in clerical grade on compassionate ground. The Deputy Chief General Manager-respondent-bank, Zonal Office, Varanasi vide his letter dated 22.12.2000 forwarded the recommendation of the petitioner to the Chief General Manager for consideration and necessary orders. The Chief General Manager-respondent no.1 vide its order dated 19.1.2001 (annexure-CA-4 to the counter affidavit) declined the request of the petitioner for compassionate appointment, this order was duly communicated to the petitioner vide impugned order dated 6.2.2001 (annexure-4 to writ petition) passed by respondent no.2. The petitioner's mother had already died in the year 1993. The father of the petitioner died without leaving any moveable or immoveable property including any ancestral property agricultural land or any residential house for the family. As averred in para-13 of the writ petition only few months before his death the father of the petitioner had performed the marriage of his third daughter on 20.4.2000 for which he had taken loan of Rs.70,000/- from one Sri Shailesh Kumar Singh and before he could return the debt he died. Rs.35,000/- was thereafter spent in his funeral ceremony including Terhwin etc. On the death of the father of the petitioner the bank paid a sum of Rs.1,11,141/- to the petitioner after a copy of letter dated 15.11.2000 of disclaimer was submitted by 3 married sisters of the petitioner annexed as annexure-CA-8 to the counter affidavit towards gratuity, provident fund and leave encashment. After the death of father of the petitioner the pension paid to him from the Air Force service also stopped. In paras-12 & 13 of the writ petition it has been averred that the total amount was distributed amongst the petitioner and his sisters in four equal shares and each of them received Rs.76,535/-. In para-17 of the rejoinder affidavit it has been submitted that the disclaimer letter was filed by the sisters only for convenience to withdraw the money by the brother (petitioner). Three affidavits dated 9.4.2001 have been filed by three sisters of the petitioner disclosing therein that each of them had received their share of money, copy of which has been filed as annexure RA-2 to the rejoinder affidavit.
Being aggrieved by the rejection by respondents of the appointment of the petitioner on compassionate ground the petitioner has preferred the present writ petition mainly on the ground that the petitioner is unemployed and is suffering great hardship alongwith his wife and two children having no other source of income or livelihood or any kind whatsoever and the respondent no.1 without examining or making any inquiry regarding the financial condition of the family of the petitioner has passed the impugned order against the scheme of the Bank.
On perusal of the record I find that the impugned order has been passed by the respondent no.1 on the basis of the scheme for appointment on compassionate ground for dependent of deceased employee/employees retired on medical ground (updated up to 1.1.1998) the object of which is to grant compassionate appointment to enable the family to tide over the sudden crises due to death of the breadwinner only when the bank is satisfied that the financial condition of the family is such that for the provisions of employment the family will not be able to meet the crises. For the satisfaction of the bank, Government of India Guidelines and settled law have been taken into consideration. Accordingly, for determining the financial condition of the family important criteria for deciding the proposals for compassionate appointment, certain factors have to be taken into account.
Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Umesh Kumar Nagpal Vs. State of Haryana and others 1994 (4) SCC page-138 while laying down the guidelines for consideration of the appointment on compassionate ground, held that it would arise only when the deceased-employee live with ''penury' or without any means of livelihood, followed by the judgment of the Apex Court in the case of General Manager (D & PB) and others Vs. Kunti Tiwari and another 2004 (7) SCC 271, followed in the case of Punjab National Bank and others Vs. Ashwiani Kumar Taneja 2004 (7) SCC 285 it was reiterated in the decision of Commissioner of Public Instructions and others Vs. K.R. Vishwanath 2005 (7) SCC 208. Lastly, in the case of Chief General Manager, State Bank of India and others Vs. Durgesh Kumar Tiwari (decided on 6.2.2006 reported in SCC or JT,) wherein it has been held that the pensionary benefits also could be taken into account for the purpose of determining the financial condition of the family of deceased-employee along with the conditions provided in the 1997 Scheme which specifically provided for taking into account the retiral benefits.
The scheme under the said policy was framed in pursuance to the decision of this Court in Umesh Kumar Nagpal's case (supra). An office memorandum was circulated to all the Banks and the respondent-bank also adopted the directive of this Court in the scheme called "Scheme for Employment of the Dependents of the Employee who die while in the service of the Bank Service on Compassionate Grounds" which categorically provides as follows :-
Financial condition of the family,
Appointment in the public services are made strictly on the basis of open invitation of applications and merit. However, excepti0ons are made in favour of dependents of employees dying in harness and leaving their family in penury and without any means of livelihood. Determining the financial condition of the family is, therefore, an important criterion for deciding the proposals for compassionate appointment. The following factors should be taken account of determining the financial condition of the family:
i) family pension
ii) gratuity amount received
iii) employee's/employer's contribution to Provident Fund
iv) any compensation paid by the Bank or its Welfare fund
v) proceeds of LIC Policies and other investments of the deceased employee
vi) income of family from other sources
vii) income of other family members from employment, or otherwise
viii) size of the family and liabilities, if any.
From the perusal of the impugned order (Annexure-CA-4 to the counter affidavit) it found that the financial condition of the family of the petitioner was considered on the basis of presumption referred to in clause (vi) of the order which reads as under :-
vi) Monthly interest income Rs.3500/- approx. can be presumed on terminal benefits plus investments excluding liability to the Bank. (4.13+0.15-0.03=4.25 lacs @ 10% p.a.)
On the basis of this presumption the respondent no.1 has arrived at the conclusion that the financial position of the family was not indigent in absence of which the petitioner was not entitled for appointment on compassionate ground. I also find that no family pension was payable to the petitioner on the death of his father and the present case does not fall under pensionable category.
As aforesaid the bank has taken into account the payment of the retiral benefits paid to the petitioner as disclosed in clauses (i) to (vi) and has presumed income of monthly interest of Rs.3500/- approximately at the rate of 10% per annum. This presumption has no valid basis since the amount received by the petitioner as retiral benefits of his deceased-father have already been accounted for having been distributed amongst the sisters and spent on the funeral and death ceremony of his father and the debts taken by his father for the marriage of his third daughter. More so, the fact that the petitioner was unemployed and had no other source of income or livelihood and was living hand to mouth along with his wife and two minor children has not been taken into account by the respondents in terms of Umesh Kumar Nagpal's case (supra). Thus, the respondents have failed to arrive at a just conclusion regarding the financial condition of the family of the petitioner, which is most important ingredient to be taken into consideration while disposing off the application for appointment on compassionate ground.
In view of the above said facts and circumstances of the case, the order dated 19.1.2001 (annexure-CA-4 to the counter affidavit) issued by respondent no.1 communicated through impugned order dated 6.2.2001 (annexure-4 to the writ petition) issued by respondent no.4 are hereby quashed. The respondent no.1 is directed to reconsider the matter and financial condition of the family (petitioner and his family) of the deceased-employee of the bank afresh taking into account complete total facts and circumstances of this case and in the light of the observations made hereinabove expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months from today. The writ petition is allowed with no order as to costs.
July 4, 2006
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