In the matter at hand, Bank of Baroda v. Baljit Singh The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s ruling and order were appealed by the Bank of Baroda. The court granted the respondent a declaration and a required injunction respecting his appointment on a compassionate basis, setting aside the First Appellate Court’s decision and restoring the Trial Court’s decision. The respondent’s father worked for the Bank and died in a harness accident in 1999. In 1998, the Bank implemented a programme to compassionately appoint a dead employee’s dependents. In 2004, the respondent’s mother submitted a request for his appointment on a compassionate basis, but the bank denied it. The Bank was ordered by the Trial Court to appoint the Respondent on compassionate grounds after the Respondent filed a lawsuit. The Additional District Judge then overturned the trial court’s decision when the bank filed an appeal. In response, the First Appellate Court’s decision was overturned and the Trial Court’s order was reinstated by the Punjab and Haryana High Court when the respondent filed a second appeal. The respondent thereupon filed the current appeal
Is it reasonable for the High Court to reverse the First Appellate Court’s decision, reinstate the Trial Court’s decision, and rule in favour of the respondent and against the Bank on the legal issues raised?
Supreme Court Judgement
While setting aside the contested judgement, the division bench of Supreme Court Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Manoj Misra reaffirmed that the appointment of a candidate on a compassionate basis does not give rise to any vested rights and that a candidate can only be taken into consideration for a compassionate appointment if they are covered by all clauses of the Scheme that are in effect at the relevant time.
The Court emphasised that a compassionate appointment only applies where a candidate is protected by all applicable Scheme rules and does not grant a vested right. It also permitted compassionate appointments for a deceased employee’s family who was in need and had no means of support when the individual passed away while working. This exemption only applies if the candidate and their family need emergency assistance due to poverty. The High Court’s decision to overturn the First Appellate Court’s decision and reinstate the Trial Court’s decision was deemed incorrect by the Court.
CASE NAME – Bank of Baroda v. Baljit Singh, Civil Appeal No. 624/2017