According to a 2014 circular, which referenced a 2007 one, Public Sector Banks (PSBs), allow appointment of persons on compassionate grounds, only in "exceptional cases". However, it is to be noted that the phrase "exceptional cases" has been left undefined and is open to interpretation.Thus, in your case, you have to prove that you have exceptional circumstances in your favour. It is also evident that the concept of "ex-gratia" in lieu of foregoing compassionate appointment has been done away with.
You ( the plaintiff), can approach this issue likewise-
a- you may approach the bank in person, submit a letter/application and accordingly complete whatever formalities that may be so required to receive the compassionate employment so sought.
b- In case the bank suggests that owing to such a long lapse in time, compassionate appointment is not possible, you can approach the issue this way-
1- File a claim in the consumer court, if it is rejected due to application of the limitation period, approach the high court, do it as soon as possible.
2- According to a case law- State Bank Of India & Anr vs Raj Kumar, CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1641 OF 2010 [Arising out of SLP(C) No.28370 of 2008], the "scheme" that can be referred to while deciding such disputes is the one in existence when the dispute crops up, i.e. in your case, if you file a suit, the court should ideally refer to the scheme in existence when your father passed away in 2001 and not the current scheme or circular followed. In 2001, the policy was to either provide a lump- sum ex-gratia amount or appoint family members on compassionate grounds subject to a 5 per cent ceiling that was fixed. So, you MAY consider opting for a heft ex-gratia amount in case your case for appointment is not approved. This amount can be mentioned while filing your suit in the appropriate court of law.
Sources referred to- http://www.aiabaeu.com/Circulars/compassionate.pdf