An adopted son is eligible to claim the job of his father on compassionate grounds and authorities concerned must take proper care to scrutinise such claims, the Madras High Court has said.A Division Bench, comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar, passed the order on a writ appeal filed by A. Sudhakar, who was a minor when his father, an employee of the Ennore Thermal Power Station, died in harness.

The petitioner lost his adopted parents as well as the natural father by September 1990.

In 1997, his natural mother, who was not conversant with legal formalities, claimed the compassionate appointment.

The application was rejected on two grounds: That it had been filed after the stipulated three-year limitation period, and that an adopted son was not eligible for compassionate appointment.

The present appeal was filed after a single judge upheld the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board order.

The Bench, pointing to the TNEB’s January 9, 2007 order stating that the three-year limitation condition need not be applied on employees who had died prior to October 1995, said the first ground of rejection would fail on that count.

As for the second ground, the Judges referred to a Patna High Court order and Section 12 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act 1956, which conferred upon the adopted child the same rights and privileges in the adoptive family as the legitimate natural born son or daughter for all purposes.

Clarifying that the burden of substantiating the claims would lie on the adopted person, the Bench said “this would, of course, require a proper inquiry. We make it clear that if proper care is not taken to scrutinise the claims, there may be possibility of spurious claimants getting jobs frustrating the object of compassionate appointment.”

Holding that Mr. Sudhakar was eligible to be considered for appointment under compassionate grounds, the Bench said the TNEB could pass an appropriate order as per law within eight weeks.

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