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The Kerala officer whose legal battle led to new rule on compassionate appointment

K Chandra Das at his residence in Pazhaveedu, Alappuzha, Kerala. Image Credit : Special Arrangement

There are many government officers who are committed to bring good to the society. One such officer is K Chandra Das of Alappuzha in Kerala who has waged an unwavering battle to introduce a new compassionate appointment rule that mandates deduction of 25 per cent of basic salary of compassionate appointees who fail to support other dependents left behind by the person who die while in service.

Chandra Das, 58, of Niyathi House, Pazhaveedu, who retired from government service in 2021, says that he was very much happy that the Kerala government issued an order in this regard based on a draft rule submitted by him to the government outlining the need for such a law to safeguard the welfare of dependents who have lost their loved ones prematurely.

Though he has retired from service, Chandra Das still continues with his mission to make his proposal to be implemented by the Centre and other state governments. He has written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the offices of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The PMO has responded saying that the matter has been handed over to the department concerned for necessary action while the office of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin wrote a letter to him confirming that the Tamil Nadu government has initiated procedures to pass an order in this regard.

It was while serving as a revenue inspector in 2018 that Chandra Das decided to take up a fight for justice and welfare for the dependents. He was deeply moved by the number of petitions from aged parents seeking a directive to their children, who got jobs under compassionate appointment scheme, to look after them.

“When a son or a daughter gets a job under a compassionate appointment scheme, they are duty bound to take care of the other dependents. But what actually happens is that they fail to take care of the other dependents, mostly aged parents,” Chandra Das told “Open Digest“.

Based on the draft proposal submitted by Chandra Das, the Kerala government passed the order mandating that any individual receiving a government job through compassionate appointment would bear the responsibility of caring for the other dependents left behind. If the appointed person fails to fulfil this obligation, the order stipulates forfeiture of 25 percent of their monthly salary, which would then be transferred to the other dependents.

Chandra Das says that he has also decided to launch a movement apprising the Union Government to pass a law making it mandatory for the children to take care of their aged parents. “We are heading towards a society in which children refuse to take care of their aged parents. We need to have a law that mandates children to take care of their aged parents. I have decided to launch a movement in this regard,” Chandra Das said.

The relentless pursuit of Chandra Das stands as a testament to the power of an individual’s dedication and commitment to effect meaningful change in the society. 

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