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HC grants relief to sacked HIV +ve CRPF woman cop

Coming to the rescue of a woman CRPF constable, who was terminated after she tested positive for HIV, Madras HC upheld the order of a single judge setting aside her termination and directing the Government to offer an alternate post

HC grants relief to sacked HIV +ve CRPF woman cop
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Chennai

Coming to the rescue of a woman CRPF constable, who was terminated after she tested positive for HIV despite her appointment being on compassionate grounds, the Madras HC on observing that to dispense her services altogether would be adding misery to her life, upheld the order of a single judge setting aside her termination and directing the Government to offer an alternate post. 

Dismissing an appeal moved by the Centre challenging the single judge’s order, the first bench comprising Chief Justice A P Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, said “We are of the opinion that if she is unfit to be deployed as a general constable and is unable to undergo the basic training to that post, then this is not a case of altering the trade or changing the nature of employment. Rather this is a case to reconsider the claim of compassionate appointment on a fresh basis where the candidate can be offered a post that may not require any such basic training that would ultimately render her unfit for employment.” 

Noting that the purpose of compassionate appointment is to provide succour to the family of the deceased employee and in this case, it is undisputed that she was found suitable to be offered compassionate appointment, the bench said “Since the disclosure or discovery of the deceased came later in point of time, the unusual and peculiar circumstances have risen where, in our opinion, , the Single Judge has rightly drawn a conclusion that she should be offered an alternate post or such employment keeping in view the ailment.” 

As per the case, she was offered a compassionate appointment after her husband’s death. Thereafter, she was sent on training, when it was discovered that she was HIV positive. Since she was found unfit to complete the basic training, she was terminated on July 22, 2019 after treating her service as temporary under the CCS (Temporary Service) Rules, 1966. 

The Central government in its appeal against the single judge order had contended that the standing orders dated December 15, 2008, does not contain any provisions for offering such alternate employment and that too after the candidate has been found medically unfit. 

However, the bench pointed out that it has time and again been held that a compassionate appointment is not an ad hoc or an appointment to be terminated at will. 

Based on this, the Chief Justice-led bench directed the union government to comply with the directions given by the single judge. 

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