karnataka high court

Karnataka High Court: While deliberating over the instant petitions wherein transfer order of the Respondent 3 was challenged by the petitioner on the ground that it involved political intervention and thus runs contrary to Transfer Guidelines; the Bench of N.S. Sanjay Gowda, J.*, quashed the impugned transfer order and observed that the Court cannot shut its eyes when it has been clearly established before it that an employee had been posted to a particular place due to political pressure brought upon the employer. The Court reiterated several of its precedents on the issue which have stated that any action of transfer based on political pressure brought by any employee for being posted to a particular place is not only required to be annulled, but such an employee cannot be granted the requested posting.

The petitions challenged the order of transfer dated 26-07-2023, by which the respondent 3 who is Deputy Health Officer (North-west) was ordered to be posted as the Deputy Health Officer at Mahadevapura Zone in place of the petitioner.

The petitioner contended that he was displaced from Mahadevapura Zone owing to political influence of the local MLA in favour of respondent 3. He also stated that respondent 4 (and petitioner in Writ Petition no. 16376 of 2023 which was clubbed with the instant petition) also used significant political influence to retain his posting at Mahadevapura.

The petitioner contended that owing to the political influence involved, the impugned transfer order is thus vitiated.

Perusing the contentions, impugned order, the Court noted that Member of Legislative Assembly for Pulikeshi Nagara Vidhanasabha Constituency, had made a request on behalf of respondent 3 to transfer her to Mahadevapura. This Letter was endorsed by the Deputy Chief Minister to the Commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike. Therefore, it was clear that the impugned order to transfer respondent 3 was issued due to political intervention and thus the impugned order was quashed.

However, the Court did not rest at that. It was also noted that respondent 4 had also used considerable political intervention in order to be posted at Mahadevapura. The Court stated that despite the fact that transfer order of respondent 4 was not called into question, but “having regard to the overwhelming principle stipulated in Clause (12) of the Transfer Guidelines, which mandates that no person should be posted to the place of his choice as a result of political pressure brought by him, it has become necessary, in the larger interest of justice and equity, to direct the Commissioner, BBMP, not to post respondent 4 at Mahadevapura and to post him at any other place”.

[GK Suresh v. Commissioner, BBMP, 2023 SCC OnLine Kar 60, decided on 05-09-2023]

*Order by Justice NS Sanjay Gowda

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Petitioner- Advocate Kalyan R.

Respondent- M.A. Subramani, Advocate for R-1 & R-2; P.N Nanja Reddy, Advocate for R-3 and R. Subramanya for S. Raju, Adv., for R-4

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