Utt HC | Courts should not interfere with transfer orders made in public interest; Petition dismissed

Uttarakhand High Court

Uttaranchal High Court: Lok Pal Singh, J., dismissed a writ petition which was filed in the matter of transfer of public servants.

The petitioner was appointed as Mukhya Sewika/Supervisor in the Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development; she had joined her services on 05-04-2013.

A complaint was sent to the Chief Minister by some resident of Laksar against the petitioner. Thereafter, an enquiry was conducted against the petitioner. The Tehsildar Laksar issued notice to the petitioner to the effect that the petitioner shall submit her explanation on or before 20-06-2019 before the respondent 3 and shall appear on 21-06-2019. In the inquiry report the respondent 3 submitted that the allegations were found untrue. Thereafter, the petitioner was transferred to Tharali Chamoli on administrative ground by the respondent 2 feeling aggrieved the petitioner had filed a writ petition against the transfer order which was allowed and the order was set aside. Thereafter, on 19-10-2019, another transfer order under provision of Section 18(4)(5) of the Transfer Act was passed, whereby the petitioner had again been transferred to Tharali District Chamoli on administrative ground. Hence, this petition was filed.

The Court reproduced Section 18 of the Uttarakhand Annual Transfer for Public Servants Act, 2017 and held that Act provided that every employee had to work in the accessible areas as well as in remote areas. Sub clause (5) of Section 18 of the Act, 2017 revealed that before making transfer on administrative ground the competent authority shall take approval from the one rank higher officer. In the present case it was mentioned that before passing the transfer order, approval was obtained from the Secretary, Women Empower and Child Development, thus, the transfer order has not been passed in violation of the Transfer Act. The Court further relied on the judgments of the Supreme Court in State of U.P v. Siya Ram, (2004) 7 SCC 405 and Shilpi Bose v. State of Bihar, 1991 Supp (2) SCC 659 where it was held,

            “4. In our opinion, the Courts should not interfere with a transfer Order which are made in public interest and for -13- OA/051/00477/2018 administrative reasons unless the transfer Orders are made in violation of any mandatory statutory Rule or on the ground of malafide. A Government servant holding a transferable post has no vested right to remain posted at one place or the other, he is liable to be transferred from one place to the other. Transfer Orders issued by the competent authority do not violate any of his legal rights. Even if a transfer Order is passed in violation of executive instructions or Orders, the Courts ordinarily should not interfere with the Order instead affected party should approach the higher authorities in the Department. If the Courts continue to interfere with day-to- day transfer Orders issued by the Government and its subordinate authorities, there will be complete chaos in the Administration which would not be conducive to public interest. The High Court over looked these aspects in interfering with the transfer Orders.”

The Court while dismissing the petition held that transfer order had been passed by the respondent authority for smooth functioning of the administration, which could not be said to be unfair.[Geetika v. State of Uttarakhand, 2021 SCC OnLine Utt 202, decided on 07-01-2021]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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