Jhar HC | Unexplained deviation from a transfer policy and prescribed procedure renders the transfer invalid and arbitrary

Jharkhand High Court: Ananda Sen, J. allowed the writ petition of the petitioner and quashed his transfer order.

The petitioner was working on the post of District Supply Officer, Ranchi in the year 2016. He was transferred to the post of Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Ranchi on 20-08-2016. He joined on the said post on 24-08-2016. Within six months of his joining, he was again transferred to Pakur. On 31-01-2019, he was transferred from Pakur to Ranchi. He joined on the said post on 05-02-2019. Again on 18-02-2019, the petitioner was transferred from Ranchi to Simdega as Director, Accounts Administration & Self Employment, District Rural Development Authority, Simdega.

Learned counsel for the petitioner, P.A.S. Pati, submitted that the transfer of the petitioner in such a short span was not in consonance with the transfer policy. Atanu Banerjee, the learned counsel for the respondent, submitted that the transfer was in exigency of services and maintained that the transfer was not intended with any malice but was only done because there was a shortage of competent officers at Simdega.

The Court relying on the counter affidavit of the respondents observed that the main reason for transferring the petitioner was the direction of the Election Commission of India because of the ensuing Lok Sabha election. The Court went through the direction in question and found that it was not applicable to the concerned petitioner.

Further, the Court relied on Uttam Kujur v. State of Jharkhand, 2008 (2) JCR 306 (Jhr), which held that that where the State has laid down a transfer policy and prescribed procedure, unexplained deviation from it will render the transfer invalid and arbitrary.

In view of the above, the Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the transfer order, as contained in Memo No. 1540 dated 18-02-2019.[Manoj Kumar v. State of Jharkhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 515, decided on 16-05-2019]

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