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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Jatinder Pal Singh vs M/O Railways on 26 August, 2019

Central Administrative Tribunal
Principal Bench, New Delhi

OA No.2322/2018
MA No. 2584/2018
MA No. 2583/2018

New Delhi this the 26th day of August, 2019

Hon’ble Ms. Nita Chowdhury, Member (A)

Jatinder Pal Singh,
S/o Sh. KS Pardesi Surinder Singh,
(Adopted) Aged 40 years,
C/o Sh. Sukhwinder Singh,
House No.4224/34,
Gali No.6 Kot Deep Singh,
Amritsar-143001 – Applicant

(By Advocate: Mr. Devinder Chowdhury)
VERSUS
1. Union of India,
Through General Manager,
Northern Railway,
Rail Bhawan,
Baroda House, New Delhi-03

2. Division Railway Manager,
Northern Railway,
Ambala Division, Ambala Cantt. – Respondents

(By Advocate: Mr. AK Srivastava)

ORDER (Oral)

The applicant has filed this OA, seeking the

following reliefs:-

“i) That Annexure A-1 dated 6.7.2016, Annexure
A-4 dated 16.12.2010 and Annexure A-7 dated
16.10.2015 be quashed and set aside and a
direction be issued to respondents to consider
the case of the applicant for appointment on
compassionate grounds objectively.

2

ii) That the action of the respondents denying the
case of the applicant for appointment on
compassionate ground on the ground that he
is not dependent of Late Sh. Surinder Singh be
declared illegal and arbitrary.

iii) That this Hon’ble Tribunal may also pass any
other order in favour of the applicant which it
may deem fit in the peculiar facts and
circumstances of the case.

iv) That cost of the applicant may also be awarded
in favour of the applicant.”

2. It is the case of the applicant that he is the adopted

son of deceased employee – late Sh. Surinder Singh, who

while working as Technician Grade-II in the Railways did

on 16.11.2009. The applicant has pleaded that being the

adopted son of said deceased employee, he had applied

for appointment on compassionate appointment which

was rejected by the respondents vide their letter dated

16.12.2012 stating that there is no provision for

appointment on compassionate grounds to the nephew.

Thereupon, the applicant filed Succession Petition before

the Competent Court of Law for grant of succession

certificate which was allowed by the Hon’ble Court on

16.01.2015 declaring that the applicant is legal heir of

the deceased employee and is entitled to the pensionary

benefits of the deceased. The applicant has averred that

pursuant to the aforesaid order of competent court of

law, the respondents released the pensionary benefits to
3

the applicant in the year 2016. The applicant has

pleaded that after having obtained the succession

certificate, he had submitted another representation on

05.10.2015 to the respondents and requested them to

reconsider his case for appointment on compassionate

basis which too was rejected by the respondents vide

their letter dated 16.10.2015 on the ground that the

adoption deed is not valid as the same is not registered

one. The applicant thereafter made representations

dated 26.04.2016 and 09.06.2016 and the same was

rejected by the respondents on the ground that applicant

is not dependent of late Sh. Surinder Singh, who was

living alone. The applicant has alleged that once he has

been declared as legal heir of late Sh. Surinder Singh by

the competent court of law and subsequently especially

when pensionary benefits have been released to him, the

action of the respondents denying the appointment to

him on compassionate basis on the ground that the

applicant is not a dependent of late deceased employee is

wholly illegal and arbitrarily and cannot be sustained in

the eyes of law.

3. The respondents, while contesting the OA, have filed

their Counter Affidavit. They have contended in their CA
4

that the applicant of this OA has miserably failed to

establish that he was adopted by the deceased Sh.

Surender Singh and the adoption deed dated 04.03.1986,

which the applicant has submitted, is not a valid in the

eyes of law inasmuch as as per provision of Section 9

read with Section 4 of the Hindu Adoption and

SectionMaintenance Act, 1956, the valid adoption could only be

executed with the consent of both the father and mother

capable of giving an adoption and in the present case, the

essential ingredient, i.e., consent of mother is missing.

Hence, the adopted deed dated 04.03.1986 cannot be

said to be a valid and gives no right to the applicant to

claim even consideration for appointment on

compassionate grounds.

4. The respondents have also contended that this

Tribunal has got no jurisdiction to adjudicate the issue

as to whether the alleged adoption deed dated

04.03.1986 is valid as the same is to be proved by the

parties before the Competent Court of Law.

5. The respondents have contended that the present

OA is hopelessly barred by time since the applicant had

made his first representation dated 01.09.2010, claiming

consideration for compassionate appointment on the
5

ground that he is nephew of the deceased which was

considered by the competent authority and the applicant

was conveyed on 16.12.2010 that he was not eligible for

appointment on compassionate grounds as he was

nephew of the deceased which did not fall within the

definition of near relatives under the rules. The

respondents have further contended that the applicant,

vide his application dated 24.02.2014, brought to the

notice of the respondents that he was the adopted son of

the deceased employee without enclosing the original

adoption deed. The respondents have submitted that this

is not a valid adoption deed as the same is not registered

one. This request was following by representations dated

25.09.2014, 17.02.2015, 10.07.2015, 10.08.2015,

14.09.2015 and 05.10.2015. The respondents have

contended that applicant was informed vide letter dated

16.10.2015 that his claim was not accepted as he was

not accepted as the adopted son of the deceased

employee since the adoption deed presented by him is

not found to be registered and valid. The respondents

have contended that the applicant made another

representation dated 19.02.2016 following by reminders

dated 24.02.2016, 26.04.2016, 09.06.2016 and

04.07.2016, which too was considered by the competent
6

authority and rejected vide order dated 06.07.2016

(Annexure A-1) by passing a reasoned and speaking

order. It was categorically brought to the notice of the

applicant that he was neither adopted by the deceased

nor was the adopted deed registered. They have

submitted that repeated representations do not revive the

limitation as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the

case of SectionS.S. Rathore vs. State of Madhya Pradesh

reported as 1990 AIR 10.

6. The respondents have also made contentions with

regard to the so called adoption deed and submitted that

the same was attested by the Notary on 04.03.1986

whereas the applicant did computer course in 1991 and

passed the matriculation examination in the eyar 1992,

computer science and application in the year 1993, 10+2

in the year 1994 and graduation in the year 1999 and in

all the certificates, the applicant has been described as

the son of Sh. Kashmir Singh Pardeshi, his biological

father. They have also submitted that besides that, the

applicant is accepted as son of his original parents in the

Ration Card issued on 11.09.20015. In view of the same,

the respondents are submitted that the adoption deed is
7

fake and cooked up. They have thus prayed that this OA

is liable to be dismissed.

7. The respondents have also contended that the

applicant has earlier filed an OA No. 1098/2016 before

the CAT, Chandigarh Bench seeking quashing of order

dated 06.07.2016, order dated 16.12.2010 and order

dated 16.10.2015 whereby the respondent, i.e. Division

Railway Manager, Ambala has rejected his claim for

appointment on compassionate ground on demise of late

Sh. Srender Singh but after taking the objection by the

learned counsel for the respondent with regard to validity

of adoption deed, the applicant who was present in

person prayed to the CAT that he may be permitted to

withdraw the instate OA with liberty to settle the matter

before the Civil Court with regard to adoption but till date

he has not submitted any decision of competent court

with regard to his valid adoption.

8. After hearing both the parties and perusing the

record, it is an admitted position that the applicant had

earlier filed an OA No. 1098/2016 seeking quashment of

the same orders which they have challenged in the

present OA, i.e.. the orders dated 06.07.2016,
8

16.12.2010 and 16.10.2015 and the Tribunal, vide its

order dated 28.07.2017 passed the following orders:-

“4. On the objection raised by learned
counsel for the respondents with regard
to validity of Adoption Deed under
Section 9 of the Hindu Adoption and
SectionMaintenance Act, 1956, the applicant
who is present in person prayed that he
may be permitted to withdraw the instant
OA at this stage with liberty to settle the
matter before the civil court with regard
to adoption deed.

5. Considering the above submission and
objection raised by the respondents with
regard to validity of Adoption Deed of the
applicant, the present OA is disposed of
in above terms and aforementioned
liberty.”

9. From the above order, it is clear that the applicant

was given liberty to settle his claim with regard to validity

of adoption deed but the applicant failed to avail of this

liberty, as he is not able to submit/obtain the decision of

the Civil Court. It appears that the applicant filed the

present OA for the reasons that once the Competent

Court of Law in his Succession Petition No. 91/2014, has

declared him as legal heir of the deceased and

subsequently the pensionary benefits were released to

him by the respondents, his case may be considered for

the compassionate appointment on the basis of

succession certificate. We notice that the Hon’ble

Supreme Court in the case of State of Chattisgarh Vs.
9

Dhirjo Kumar Sengar in Civil Appeal No. 3242/2009 has

dealt with the similar controversy and held as under:-

“17. This Court, times without number, has held
that appointment on compassionate ground should
not be granted as a matter of course. It should be
granted only when dependants of the deceased
employee who expired all of a sudden while being in
service and by reason thereof his dependants have
been living in penury.

The Government of Madhya Pradesh had adopted a
scheme for appointment on compassionate ground
which was circulated to all concerned in terms of a
letter dated 10.06.1994, stating:

“If any government servant dies in harness then
either his widow or his legal children (which
includes the step son/ daughter also) would be
made available service. Service wouldn’t be made
available to any other member or relative.”

The nephew of the deceased employee, therefore,
was ineligible for grant of such appointment.

18. Appointment, however, was offered to the
respondent without taking into consideration that
he had not been able to establish his relationship
with the deceased or that he was in fact totally
dependant on him.

The purported deed of adoption was not a registered
one. It, therefore, did not carry with it a
presumption as envisaged under Section 16 of the
Hindu Adoptions and SectionMaintenance Act, 1956.

The adoption was purported to have been recorded
on a stamp paper of Rs. 2/-.

We have noticed hereinbefore that in the application
for grant of succession certificate, G.S. Sengar was
described as his father. Even in the marksheets
which had been drawn up on the basis of the record
maintained in the school in which he was studying,
his father’s name was G.S. Sengar. It may be correct
that for the purpose of proving that the respondent
10

was adopted son of the deceased, a registered deed
of adoption was not imperative in character, but
then, he was required to prove that datta homan
ceremony or compliance of the other statutory
conditions for a valid adoption had taken place.

In terms of Section 106 of the Indian Evidence Act,
the respondent having special knowledge in regard
thereto, the burden of proving the fact that he was
adopted by Chittaranjan Singh Sengar was on him.
He did not furnish any evidence in that behalf. Even
the records clearly show to the contrary.

19. It is in the aforementioned premise, the
contention in regard to the breach of audi alteram
partem doctrine must be considered.

Principle of natural justice although is required to
be complied with, it, as is well-known, has
exceptions. [See V.C., Banaras Hindu University
and SectionOthers v. Shrikant (2006) 11 SCC 42]

20. One of the exceptions has also been laid down
in SectionS.L. Kapoor v. Jagmohan and others [(1980) 4
SCC 379 : AIR 1981 SC 136] wherein it was held:

“In our view the principles of natural justice
know of no exclusionary rule dependent on
whether it would have made any difference if
natural justice had been observed. The non-
observance of natural justice is itself prejudice
to any man and proof of prejudice
independently of proof of denial of natural
justice is unnecessary. It ill comes from a
person who has denied justice that the person
who has been denied justice is not prejudiced.
As we said earlier where on the admitted or
indisputable facts only one conclusion is
possible and under the law only one penalty is
permissible, the court may not issue its writ to
compel the observance of natural justice, not
because it is not necessary to observe natural
justice but because courts do not issue futile
writs.”

(Emphasis supplied)
11

21. Legality of grant of a valid appointment was
dependant upon the proof that the respondent was
the adopted son of Chittaranjan Singh Sengar.

He not only failed to do so, the materials brought on
record by the parties would clearly suggest
otherwise. His application for grant of appointment
on compassionate ground was rejected by the Joint
Director of Education. He did not question the
legality or validity thereof. He, it can safely be said,
by suppressing the said fact obtained the offer of
appointment from an authority which was lower in
rank than the Joint Director, viz., the Deputy
Director. When such a fact was brought to the
notice of the Deputy Director that the offer of
appointment had been obtained as a result of fraud
practiced on the Department, he could, in our
opinion, cancel the same.

Respondent keeping in view the constitutional
scheme has not only committed a fraud on the
Department but also committed a fraud on the
Constitution. As commission of fraud by him has
categorically been proved, in our opinion, the
principles of natural justice were not required to be
complied with.

Xxx xxx xxx

23. The High Court, therefore, must be held to have
committed a serious error in passing the impugned
judgment.

A succession certificate can be granted in
favour of any person. It may be granted to an
heir or a nominee. By reason of grant of such
certificate, a person in whose favour succession
certificate is granted becomes a trustee to
distribute the amount payable to the deceased
to his heirs and legal representatives. He does
not derive any right thereunder. The succession
certificate merely enabled him to collect the
dues of the deceased. No status was conferred
on him thereby. It did not prove any
relationship between the deceased and the
applicant. Even otherwise, the respondent and
his father were entitled to the said dues being
his heirs and legal representatives.

12

24. The very fact that the respondent had filed an
application for grant of succession certificate along
with his father, showing themselves to be the heirs
and legal representatives of the deceased, is itself
sufficient proof to show that he did not claim any
benefit in regard to the debts of the deceased as his
adopted son or otherwise.

25. For the reasons aforementioned, the impugned
judgment cannot be sustained, which is set aside
accordingly. The appeal is allowed with costs.
Counsel’s fee assessed at Rs. 10,000/-.”

10. From the above order, it is clear that the succession

certificate can be granted in favour of any person. It may

be granted to an heir or a nominee. By reason of grant of

such certificate, a person in whose favour succession

certificate is granted becomes a trustee to distribute the

amount payable to the deceased to his heirs and legal

representatives. He does not derive any right thereunder.

The succession certificate merely enabled him to collect

the dues of the deceased. No status was conferred on him

thereby. It did not prove any relationship between the

deceased and the applicant.

11. In view of the fact that the applicant has failed to

produce or submit any decision with regard to validation

of adoption deed nor does the succession certificate

entitle him eligible for compassionate appointment, the

OA being bereft of merit is dismissed. MA No.

2583/2018 for condonation of delay is also dismissed, as
13

the repeated representations do not revive the limitation

as held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of S.S.

Rathore (supra) and pending MA No. 2584/2018 is also

dismissed. No order as to costs.

(Nita Chowdhury)
Member (A)
/lg/

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