Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: While deciding a petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India against an order issued by the Joint Commissioner (Administration) of the M.P. Day State Rural Livelihood Mission, Bhopal, transferring the petitioner from District Anuppur to District Chhindwara, a single-judge bench comprising of G.S. Ahluwalia, J., upheld the petitioner’s transfer, citing the contractual agreement allowing for transfers and administrative grounds. However, the Court directed the state to reassess the transfer’s necessity, providing conditional relief to the petitioner based on the outcome of this assessment.

Brief Facts

In the instant matter, the petitioner preferred a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India challenging an order dated 24-11-2022 passed by the Joint Commissioner (Administration), M.P. Day State Rural Livelihood Mission, Bhopal. The order transferred the petitioner from District Anuppur to District Chhindwara. The petitioner was appointed on a contractual basis and claimed to hold a non-transferable post. The petitioner argued that the transfer order lacked special circumstances as required by precedent and, therefore, was illegal.

Moot Point

  1. Whether a contractual employee holding a non-transferable post can be transferred without special circumstances?

  2. Whether the transfer order adequately provided for special circumstances?

  3. Whether the terms and conditions of the petitioner’s employment allowed for her transfer?


The petitioner contended that her post was non-transferable, and the transfer order did not specify special circumstances, rendering it unlawful. The petitioner cited Seema Pasi v. State of M.P., Writ Appeal No.281/2021, 25.09.2021, where the Court insisted for “special circumstances” in case of transfer order which lacked in present case. The petitioner claimed that her transfer is an attempt to accommodate another employee, which has been denied by the state.

The respondents contended that the petitioner’s employment terms allowed for transfer based on administrative needs and that the transfer was justified due to the staffing requirements in District Chhindwara. The respondents denied that the transfer was solely to accommodate another employee. The respondents also contended that the petitioner was obligated to accept the transfer according to her contractual terms.

Court’s Decision

The Court considered the arguments and referred to the Seema Pasi case (Supra), which allowed for the transfer of contractual employees under special circumstances. The Court noted that the petitioner’s employment agreement did not restrict her placement to a specific location and allowed for transfer by the Rajya Ajivika Forum or NRLM.

The Court held that the petitioner was not entitled to claim non-transferability as her employment was governed by her agreement, which permitted transfers for administrative reasons. Therefore, the transfer order was not unlawful. However, the Court noted that the petitioner’s continued stay in District Anuppur, even after the transfer order, raised questions about the current necessity for the transfer.

The Court directed the respondents to review whether the petitioner’s presence in Chhindwara was still required. If not, the transfer order would not be enforced, but if her presence was still necessary, the petitioner must join her new assignment. Failure to submit a certified copy of the order would result in the petitioner’s obligation to join the transferred place. The petitioner must submit a certified copy of the court’s order to the authorities within 15 days.

[Seema Patel v. State of M.P., WP No. 29436 of 2022, order dated 28-08-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Shri Jai Shukla, Counsel for the Petitioner

Shri A.P. Singh – Government Advocate, Counsel for the Respondent No. 1 and 3

Shri Ajay Pratap Singh and Shri Manan Agrawal, Counsel for the Respondent No. 2 and 4

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