April 26, 2022

H P High Court

Vijyender Sharma

SHIMLA----The High Court of H.P., in a matter pertaining to the transfer of a Govt. employee, restrained the State Government or its authorities from even acting much less giving effect to any recommendations of transfer made by any of the political authorities, Chairman(s), Vice Chairman(s) of the various Boards and Corporations etc. or on the basis of Notes/recommendations given by the persons belonging to the political parties or holding any post in the political organization(s) or Office bearer(s) and who otherwise have been defeated or not elected to the State legislation. The Court stayed the order dated 16.04.2022, of the transfer of the petitioner, since it has been made at the instance of workers of political party, who have nothing to do with the functioning of the Government much less of the administrative departments.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia, passed these orders on a writ petition filed by one Sh. Bhola Dutt, Lecture School Cadre, who has been transferred from Govt. Sr. Secondary School Bharari, District Mandi to Govt. Sr. Secondary School Kanda, vice versa one Sh. Raghunath Singh. The petitioner has alleged that he has been transferred in the gross violation of Comprehensive Guiding Principles 2013 and Judgments passed by the High Court time and again. The petitioner has further alleged that his transfer has been made with the force of DO Note of the local political people.

During the course of hearing the Court observed that it is shocking to note that the employees of the State are being ordered to be transferred on the recommendations made by the persons, who have nothing to do with the Government or the Administrative working of the Department(s). The Court observed that it is trite that transfer is an incidence of service and as long as the authority acts keeping in view the administrative exigency and taking into consideration the public interest as the paramount consideration, it has unfettered powers to effect transfer. However, this power must be exercised honestly, bonafide and reasonably. It should be exercised in public interest. If the exercise of power is based on extraneous considerations without any factual background foundation or for achieving an alien purpose or an oblique motive it would amount to mala fide and colourable exercise of power.

The Court further observed that cases are repeatedly coming up before the Court wherein the impugned transfers are being ordered on the basis of recommendations and DO Note issued by the persons, who have no role or authority in the administrative departments, as a result of which, hundreds if not thousands of cases have flooded this Court virtually choking the system. What is more unfortunate is that despite repeated orders of this Court the respondents do not seem to have learned the lesson well. This artificial empowerment at the hands of the workers and Office bearer(s) of political parties irrespective of the parties to which they are affiliated, needs to be curbed and cannot be encouraged or else same would result in the break down of rule of law and create anarchy in the Society.

The case has been fixed for 17.05.2022.

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