1. Applicant is aggrieved by the inaction on the part of the respondents in not considering his request for appointment on compassionate grounds. He states that his father Shri C.G. Mathukutty, an ex-serviceman who lost one leg in combat while serving in the Indian Army after getting relieved from the Army, joined as Postal Assistant in 1973. He died while in service on 12.6.1997 leaving behind his wife and the applicant, his son. The family of the widow consists of the applicant, his wife and two minor children.
According to him, though he had applied for appointment on compassionate grounds immediately after the death of his father no action was taken by the respondents. The mother of the applicant again submitted an application for compassionate appointment in 1999 a copy of which is produced as Annexure A1. As per the instructions of the officials of the Postal Division, a formal request in the proforma also was submitted vide Annexure A2. Again no steps were taken by the respondents. Thereafter, he sent Annexure A3 representation dated 22.2.2005 to the Chief Minister of Kerala. As there was no action again. On 12.6.2008, he sent Annexure A4 representation to respondent No. 2. Thereafter, respondent No. 3 sent Annexure A5 letter directing the applicant to provide the required documents. Applicant submitted all the required documents along with his request and again sent Annexure A6 request dated 21.11.2008. According to the applicant, numerous representations were made by him and his ailing mother to save their family from penury and therefore he prays for:
'(i) To call for the records relating to A-1 to A-9 and to declare that the applicant is entitled to be granted compassionate appointment under the respondents, consequent to the death of his father, immediately and to direct the respondents to appoint the applicant in any appropriate post immediately;
(ii) To pass such other orders or directions as deemed just, fit and necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case.
(iii) To award costs of this proceedings.'
2. Respondents in their reply statement contend that the applicant submitted Annexures R1 and R2 representations dated 29.7.2008 and 4.11.2008 respectively more than 11 years after the death of his father and hence his request is highly belated. In response to Annexure R2 representation, respondent No. 2 sent Annexure A5 letter directing the applicant to forward the necessary forms. But he failed to submit any of the documents and nothing was heard from him further for the past 8 and odd years. According to the respondents the OA is barred by limitation because there is a delay of 5968 days in filing the OA. Respondents further state that no formal request for appointment on compassionate grounds was made either by the widow of the deceased official or by the applicant prior to Annexure Nos. R-1 and R-2 requests. Annexure A2 prescribed format was sent along with Annexure A5 letter dated 6.11.2008 but the applicant kept both Annexure A5 letter and Annexure A2 format with him and later on 24.11.2008 he obtained the signature of the Circle Inspector of Police, Kumily. Annexure A3 representation to the Chief Minister of Kerala dated 22.2.2005 is baseless since the formal application (Annexure A2) is bearing the date as 24.11.2008 and therefore, the statement of the applicant that he took up the case with the Chief Minister of Kerala in 2005 is highly misleading. The documents produced by the applicant are fabricated. Respondents contend that Annexure A4 representation was not received by them. Applicant cannot deny the receipt of Annexure A5 letter dated 6.11.2008 which clearly directed him to produce the required documents and therefore, there was no necessity for the applicant to send Annexure A6 representation dated 21.11.2008 within a period of one week from the date of receipt of Annexure A5 without sending the required documents. Applicant did not attach copies of certificates like the death certificate of his father or the income certificate. Respondents further contend that the applicant is having no financial difficulty as he is having cardamon cultivation in 3 acres of land and his wife is working as teacher in a primary school owned by the church. Respondents state that the OA has been filed in an experimental manner and that the applicant was not vigilant enough to make his request for appointment within a reasonable time and therefore, they pray for rejecting the OA.
3. A rejoinder was filed by the applicant contending that in Annexures R1 and R2 there is a reference to the earlier representations sent by the applicant.
4. Heard Mr. Shafik M.A. learned counsel appearing for the applicant and Mr. P.G. Jayan, learned ACGSC appearing for the respondents. Perused the record.
5. It is evident from the record that a formal application in the prescribed form was sent by the applicant only by way of Annexure A2. Respondents contend that in response to the request dated 4.11.2008 (Annexure R2) Annexure A5 letter was sent to the applicant along with the prescribed form which has been used by the applicant as Annexure A2. Annexure A5 is dated 6.11.2008. But Annexure A2 is undated except for an endorsement made by the Circle Inspector of Police, Kumily on 24.11.2008 that the applicant is known to him and that the facts mentioned in Annexure A2 are correct. It is worth noting that Annexure A2 which was presumably sent after 24.11.2008 was sent by the applicant nearly 11 years after the death of his father. In the pleadings in the OA the applicant states that he was occasionally engaged as GDS BPM as a substitute when the regular GDSs go on leave. According to him such arrangements have been made by the Postal Department because of his knowledge of work in the Department. Annexure A7 is an information obtained by him invoking the provisions of RTI Act, 2005 regarding his postings as substitute GDS BPM at Chakkupallom Branch Post Office and in other Branch Post Offices and the emoluments received by him during 2010 -2013. Applicant states that it was only after the formal request Annexure A2 made to the respondents, the respondents started giving him work as substitute GDS on occasional basis.
6. Respondents resisted the OA by pointing out that the family of the deceased is not in a state of penury. According to them the applicant has not produced any income certificate along with Annexure A2. They state that his family owns three acres of land with cardamon cultivation and that his wife is a teacher in a primary school run by the church. Respondents further point out that applicant was engaged to work as GDS Mail Deliverer at Chellarcoil in the leave vacancy of the regular incumbents. According to them he worked as GDS BPM, at Chakkupallom Branch Post Office and GDS MD occasionally as an outsider in order to have uninterrupted postal services.
7. Unlike the normal cases of the application for compassionate appointment, the pleadings in this case reveal a mixed and chequered state of affairs. It appears from the pleadings that the applicant never made any serious attempt for appointment on compassionate grounds though he states that he and his mother had sent Annexure A1 representation long back in 1999 seeking appointment on compassionate grounds for him. But no serious pursuit of the same was made by the applicant. No steps were taken by him for approaching this Tribunal either. According to the respondents the only representation they received are Annexures R1 and R2 and that it was in response to Annexure R2, Annexure A5 letter was sent along with Annexure A2 form for application. According to them applicant kept Annexure A2 form with him but later got it signed from a Circle Inspector of Police only on 24.11.2008. Respondents state that Annexure A3 representation made to the Chief Minister on 22.2.2005 was without sending any proper applications in the prescribed form to the Department. They point out that after receiving the prescribed form vide Annexure A5 sent on 4.11.2008 there was no reasonable cause for the applicant to send Annexure A6 representation dated 21.11.2008 alleging that no action was taken though he had sent application for appointment on compassionate grounds. Respondents point out that the date of endorsement in Annexure A-2 by the Circle Inspector of Police was dated 24.11.2008 and therefore, Annexure A6 is not indicating the true state of affairs.
8. As stated earlier the case put forth by the applicant is vitiated by nstances of lack of vigil on the part of the applicant. This might be due to the circumstance that the family of the deceased was not in an urgent need for financial assistance which is an essential pre-requisite for appointment on compassionate grounds. The contentions of the respondents that the applicant's wife is engaged as a Teacher and the applicantb s family is owning three acres of cardamom cultivation are factors salvaging the family of the deceased employee from a state of penurious condition. These aspects have not been effectively refuted by the applicant in a convincing manner. There is no mention of the terminal benefits, family pension and also the benefits from military.
9. The inaction on the part of the applicant in not approaching the superior authorities or approaching this Tribunal for about 11 years after the death of his father is yet another strong circumstance which justifies the defence put forth by the respondents.
10. Taking stock of the facts and circumstances of this case this Tribunal is of the view that the applicant has not made out a convincing case in support of the relief sought for by him in this OA. In the result the Original Application is dismissed. Parties shall suffer their own costs.