While the essence of compassionate appointment was empathy, there has been only apathy in the instant case, noted a division bench comprising Justice M Sathaynarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha. “BSNL has deprived a truly indigent destitute and impoverished family of a deserving compassionate appointment. Instead of extending a helping hand at the time of distress, BSNL authorities have remained mute for years, only to turn the tables against the petitioner.”
Instead of applying the principle of fairness and equity, a routine, mechanical assessment was done to ease the petitioner out of the process of compassionate appointment, the bench said. “Callous attitude and lack of empathy have caused this denial of an appointment on compassionate grounds. Death of a sole breadwinner will definitely cause huge imbalance in any family, especially when the family is in the low-income group. Added to the loss is the prevailing situation when the other family members are not so educated or well informed,” it noted.
After the death of K Gajendran, a telegraph man in December, 2003, a representation was submitted in 2004 seeking a compassionate appointment for his son G Vijaya Prasanna. With no reply coming forth, the petitioner’s mother directly approached BSNL. But the petitioner was merely appointed as office assistant as a contract labour since 2004.