BEENA CHAMOLI Vs. TEHRI HYDRO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF UTTARAKHAND
TEHRI HYDRO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND OTHERS
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(1.) Heard Mr. M.C. Pant, Advocate for the petitioner and Mr. Dhruv Mehta, Senior Advocate assisted by Mr. Shobhit Saharia, Advocate for the respondents.
(2.) This is a third round of litigation for the petitioner, who has invoked extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India not once but thrice. The issue is simple. She claims appointment on compassionate ground as her husband Sri Vinod Chamoli, who was working as a Data Entry Operator in Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (hereinafter referred to as THDC) died while in harness on 3.4.2003. She has a 12 year old son to look after and the only bread winner of the family i.e. her husband passed away on 3.4.2003. Since initially the appointment was not even being considered inspite of her application, she was constrained to file a writ petition before this Court being Writ Petition No. 1868 of 2005 (S/S). The said writ petition was disposed of by a learned Single Judge of this Court vide order dated 6.3.2006, after citing various judgments of the Hon'ble Apex Court wherein principles have been laid down for appointment on compassionate ground. It was directed by the learned Single Judge that representation of the petitioner be considered and disposed of accordingly. The respondent T.H.D.C. though did not appoint the present petitioner on compassionate ground but offered her an ex gratia scheme which according to them was in force under which certain financial benefits, short of employment, were to be given. This was done vide order dated 13.6.2006. The petitioner refused to take this offer and challenged the order dated 13.6.2006 before this Court by means of Writ Petition No. 437 of 2007 (S/S). In this second round of litigation, the petitioner alleged that though her husband died on 3.4.2003, she is being denied appointment on compassionate grounds and there is a total arbitrariness in the matter inasmuch as in respect of two other employees of THDC, namely, Shri Chain Singh and Shri D.C. Sharma who died in harness after petitioner's husband, their dependants have been given appointment on compassionate ground on 3.2.2004 and 2.8.2004, respectively, whereas the same has been denied to the petitioner. Moreover, the scheme came into effect from 2.4.2007 whereas the husband of the petitioner died prior to the enforcement the said scheme and secondly the petitioner has to be governed not by the scheme but by the rules which were applicable prior to it wherein such appointment was to be given on compassionate ground. The said writ petition was hence disposed of with the following observations :
"Therefore, it is directed that the Managing Director, THDC i.e. respondent no. 1 shall consider the representation of the petitioner on settled claims and considerations which are applicable in such matters, namely, the hardship of the family concerned and whether under the similar circumstances at the relevant time or thereafter, such appointments were made by THDC. THDC will not reject the claim of the petitioner merely because they have come under the new "scheme". It is made clear that the petitioner's case shall be considered for appointment, on compassionate grounds. The relevant period for consideration of the hardship shall be 2003 and not the present, as the application for appointment was made by the petitioner well in time i.e. in 2003. Order dated 13.6.2006 (Annexure no. 6 to the writ petition) is hereby set aside. Fresh representation of the petitioner shall be considered in the light of the observations made in the preceding paragraphs. It is directed that the Managing Director, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation will personally hear the matter and decide the case of the petitioner with a speaking order as expeditiously as possible but in any case not later than six weeks from the date a certified copy of this order along with representation is presented before him."
(3.) Now a detail order has been passed which runs into 17 pages by the respondent authority, once again rejecting the claim of the petitioner but this time on absolutely new grounds. A perusal of the said order reflects only one aspect, which is the determination of the concerned authority not to give appointment to the petitioner. The reasons cited for denying the appointment are not at all justified, rather a bias against the present petitioner is clearly reflected in the said order which will be referred to shortly.;
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