Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: The Bench of Ali Mohammad Magrey, J., allowed the writ petition filed seeking a direction to the respondents to transfer the petitioner from District Kupwara to District Srinagar on health grounds.

The petitioner claimed to be working as a teacher and was posted at Upper Primary School, Kabamarg, zone Trehgam. She submitted that she was suffering from acute ailment relating to her Bone-Degeneration for which she needed proper medical care round the clock in a State Hospital at Srinagar. It was further submitted that on the advice of the doctors, the petitioner had undergone physiotherapy exercise on a daily basis from a reputed Government hospital, which facility was only available in Srinagar because no such hospital was available in District Kupwara. She also contended that on the advice of the doctors at Apollo Hospital, Delhi, she was asked to take injections which were not available in District Hospital, Kupwara, and instead, they are only available in Srinagar. The petitioner in this regard had placed on record the medical prescriptions and advice regarding her ailment and treatment thereto.

The Court while allowing the petition stated that transfer/ posting is an exigency of service and is solely within the powers of the Government authorities. Ordinarily, the Courts should not interfere with the policy of the Government directing posting/ transfers of the Government employees, but in exceptional cases, where the transfer/posting is made by an incompetent authority or is against the rules or is a result of malafides, the Courts can interfere. It further stated that the Government employee suffering from any hardship on account of his/her transfer/posting, should approach the authorities concerned for seeking redressal of his/her grievances as the Courts cannot issue any mandamus directing the authorities to transfer/posting of a Government employee. It is solely for the authorities to consider the claim of the petitioner on the strength of the documentary evidence, including the medical prescriptions/advice, available with the petitioner for such transfer.

In the above situation, the Court felt satisfied in disposing of the petition with a direction to the respondents to decide the representation of the petitioner and pass appropriate orders concerning her transfer. [Ishrat Dilshad v. State of J&K, 2019 SCC OnLine J&K 223, Order dated 08-03-2019]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

United Kingdom Supreme Court: The 6-Judge Bench comprising of Lady Hale, President, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath and Lady Black addressed an appeal that concerns the limits of a local authority’s powers and duties to provide accommodation for children in need under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989 (CA).

The facts of the case state that the appellants are the parents of eight children and their 12 year old son was caught shop-lifting. The reasons stated by the child were that he had no money for lunch and that his father used to beat him. On visiting the child’s home, police found the conditions of his home to be unfit for habitation by children. Police exercised powers under Section 46 of the Children Act, 1989 in order to provide foster replacements to the children for a better environment to them. Further, the parents were arrested and interrogated but later released on bail with the condition that they could not have unsupervised contact with any of their children.

The Supreme Court observed in the present case that, the parents had signed a ‘Safeguarding Agreement’, by which they had agreed to let the children remain with their foster replacements and in order of the stated fact, and no objection or request been made by the parents for the return of children it was a lawful basis for the children’s continued accommodation under Section 20.

Therefore, the point of concern raised in the said appeal about the powers and limits of local authorities was answered in the following manner: “Section 20 gives local authorities no compulsory powers over parents or their children and must not be used in such a way as to give the impression that it does”. Also, the parents should be given full information in regard to the said provision, as in the present case the parents were not provided with the same that they should have been. The Court dismissed the appeal for reasons which differ from those of the Court of Appeal. [William v. Borough of Hackney, [2018] 3 WLR 503, dated 18-07-2018]