Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: Dr S.N. Pathak, J., dismissed a writ petition as he was of the view that the transfer of the petitioner was proper and no interference was necessary.

In the pertinent case, the petitioner moved to this Court challenging the order of transfer dated 24.05.2019, whereby he has been transferred from SBI, Singh More Branch, Ranchi to SBI, Tupudana, Branch as per extant instruction of 5 years transfer policy. It is a specific case of the petitioner that he is a disabled person.

Pawan Kumar Pathak, counsel for the petitioner, had submitted that a petitioner is a differently-abled person and as per the Circular F.No. 302/33/2/87 SCT (B) dated 05.03.1988, the physically handicapped employees of Bank in all cadres should normally be exempted from routine periodical transfer and as such, the petitioner has been transferred in complete violation of the statutory provisions. Rajesh Kumar, counsel of the opposite party submitted that the petitioner has been transferred as per the extant instruction of 5 years transfer policy and upon due consideration to his physical disability, the petitioner has been transferred to Tupudana Branch, which is nearby Branch from his place of stay and only 3.5 km away from Singhmore Branch and said Tupudana Branch is situated on the ground floor making it convenient for the petitioner and as such, order of transfer is fully justified.

The Court held that the order of transfer requires no interference since the order has been passed upon due consideration of the petitioner’s disability. The Court also observed that transfer is an incident of service; no right has accrued to an employee to stay at a particular place. Further, petitioner cannot be exempted from the transfer policy  since, no statutory provisions have been violated and the petitioner has been transferred to Tupudana Branch after giving due consideration to his physical disability, which is just 3.5 km from the Singhmore Branch and it is running its business in the ground floor which makes it more convenient to the petitioner to work there with ease.[Satish Kumar Singh v. SBI, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 1359, decided on 12-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: S.A. Dharmadhikari, J., allowed a petition as the transfer of the petitioner was done at the instance of the politician which was against the transfer policy.

In the pertinent case, the petitioner, working as Panchayat Secretary, was transferred from Gram Panchayat Deeghodi, Block Kolaras to Gram Panchayat Pachrai, Block Khaniyadhana.

The counsel for the petitioner contended that the order of transfer was in violation of the transfer policy dated 19-05-2017. He further submitted that the transfer has been done on the recommendation of Respondent 3, an Ex-MLA and the transfer order has been passed during the ban period in violation of Clause 9.2 of the transfer policy without obtaining any approval of the concerned Minister. It is further pointed out that Clause 9.3 of the transfer policy provides that transfer can be effected within the district on account of administrative reasons, whereas in the present case, there is no administrative exigency shown for transfer of the petitioner, except at the behest of a politician. The petitioner placed reliance on the order passed in Pratap Singh Mandeliya v. State of M.P., 2013 SCC OnLine MP 10796, in which this Court was pleased to order that transfer order can be passed only in administrative exigency or in public interest.

The Court observed that in case of Sarvesh Kumar Awasthi v. U.P. Jal Nigam, (2003) 11 SCC 740, the Supreme Court held that the power of transferring an officer cannot be wielded arbitrarily, mala fide or an exercise against an efficient and independent officer or at the instance of politicians.

High Court added to its above observation that the transfer policy clearly states that during the ban period, the transfer can be effected only after obtaining concurrence and in the coordination of the concerned Minister.

In the instant case, it was apparent that the transfer was done in colorable exercise of power and at the behest of an Ex-MLA which was against the transfer policy. Thus, the Court held that as per the law laid down in the case of Sarvesh Kumar Awasthy, the transfer order at the instance of a politician is not sustainable.[Rajendra Kumar Sharma v. State of M.P., 2019 SCC OnLine MP 2722, decided on 25-09-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

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]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Sindhu Sharma, J., dismissed the petition seeking relief against the order of a premature transfer.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner filed this petition against his transfer from the post of Assistant Accounts Officer, PHE Procurement Division, Jammu to the post of Assistant Accounts Officer, State Information Commission against available vacancy.

The contention of the petitioner was that he was holding the present position from 07-10-2016 and was prematurely transferred which was contrary to the Transfer Policy issued vide a Government Order and as such said transfer was liable to be quashed on the ground that every transfer is required to be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Government Business Rules and the Transfer Policy.

Placing reliance on the case of Syed Hilal Ahmed v. State of J&K, 2015 (3) JKJ 398 (HC), it was held that transfer is an incidence of service. The Government Order was mere guidelines and had no statutory force. Moreover, the above-said order clearly permitted transfer in public interest or in the interest of administration.

The petition was thus dismissed. [Nasib Singh v. State, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 1038, Decided on 31-12-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vandana Kasrekar, J., addressed an issue where petitioner was transferred and aggrieved by the same filed this writ petition.

Facts of the case are that petitioner at the time of filing this writ petition was a Dy. Manager in the respondent Bank and was transferred to Katni from Jabalpur. Petitioner aggrieved by the transfer order filed representation on the ground that he was about to get retired in few months. Petitioner contended that he had been getting frequently transferred which is against transfer policy. Respondents did not consider his representation and a notice was issued to petitioner under Rule 40(3) of the State Bank of India Officers Service Rules, 1992 giving him 3 days to report on duty at Katni. Petitioner filed a writ petition before the High Court wherein he was ordered to file a representation on the above notice and an application for stay on the orders of respondents. The representation was rejected by the impugned order after which petitioner filed this instant writ petition.

It was contended by the petitioner that respondents did not consider the transfer policy in full and the fact that petitioner is the Vice President of SBI SC/ST Employees Welfare Association thus exempted from transfer. Petitioner contended that impugned order did not contain the grounds mentioned by the petitioner in representation. After perusing the matter High Court was of the view that the respondents have not considered the grounds stated by the petitioner and thus impugned order was a non-speaking order. Therefore, the impugned order was set aside. [Chetram Choudhary v. State Bank of India,2018 SCC OnLine MP 508, dated 31-08-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: The Court heard a petition against the transfer order of petitioner on administrative grounds from Integrated Child Development Project from one scheduled area to another. The grievance of the petitioner was that her representation had been rejected by the competent authority on the ground that she was shifted for administrative purpose and the same couldn’t be recalled when the reliever had already been posted against her post.

The counsel for the petitioner referred to a few government circulars and Transfer Policy of 2017 stating that if a government employee has worked for more than 3 years in a scheduled area, he/she should not be transferred again to another schedules area.

While deciding on the matter, Court took note of the fact that the policy and the circular are purely executive instructions and the Court cannot be an appropriate authority to enforce them. Additionally, it observed that every such policy or circular is merely a guideline for transfers and cannot be a statute in itself.

The Bench of Prashant Kumar Mishra, J. said that in transfer order as well as in the order rejecting representation, it has clearly been mentioned that the petitioner has been posted on administrative grounds for the betterment of the department. The Court held that it cannot sit in appeal over the decision taken by the Government to post an employee at a particular place. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed. [Pramila Barman v. State of Chhattisgarh,  2017 SCC OnLine Chh 1304, decided on 13.11.2017]