No Judicial Interference Is Warranted In Transfer Order If Same Is Neither Malafide Nor Motivated By Any Extraneous Consideration: Patna HC
Finding that the defense of the respondent is one of better administration to which end the pleas of an employee for compassion or leniency, has to bow down, the Patna High Court held that ‘transfer’ is an incidence of service and can be challenged only if it is malafide and a veiled punitive action, and the authority ordering it, have no such power conferred or the post being non-transferable.
The High Court held so while considering an appeal by a Sub-Inspector Ministerial (a non-gazetted member of the force) challenging the inter sector transfer issued under signature of Additional Inspector General.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Partha Sarthy observed that “The appellant is in a transferable post and the instant transfer is not punitive, malafide or motivated by any extraneous consideration. The appellant has been transferred by the competent authority that too to satisfy the requirement of home sector and outside home sector posting”.
Finding that the appellant had approached the administrative authorities, who considered his case and found it to be not one worthy of surmounting or circumventing the administrative requirements of the force, the Bench pointed that they cannot sit in judgment of such administrative orders, especially, when the circumstance pointed out, is not so compelling as to shock a reasonable person, motivating him to overcome and overstep the administrative expediency.
Advocate Manoj Kumar appeared for the Appellant, whereas ASG Krishna Nandan Singh appeared for the Respondent.
The brief facts of the case were that the appellant was posted in an out of home sector (OHS) for nine years and three months against the requirement of seven years. From 2010 to 2016, the appellant was posted to Eastern Sector at Patna and the Group Headquarters at Patna. From 2016 till April 2021, he served at Ranchi and in May 2021 he was transferred to the Eastern Zone, Patna. In anticipation of an inter sector transfer he filed representation to be retained in Patna, on the ground of the treatment undergone by his wife in the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Science, (IGIMS), Patna and that he had continued in Patna only for one year and six months at this instance. Ignoring the representation, the appellant has been transferred and posted to the Airport at Bengaluru against which, he again filed representation, alleging that the transfer is premature, before completion of three years at the current place of posting and raised the issue of his son’s education. However, his request was turned down contending that the post occupied by the appellant is a transferable one and always subject to security considerations, availability of vacancies, new inductions, administrative and operational needs as also public interest. After going through the evidences, the Single Judge found no reason to interfere with the transfer especially noticing the well-heeled proposition that transfer is an incidence of service.
After considering the submission, the Bench noted that the employer, a disciplined force is concerned with a homogeneous mix of personnel, in every Unit it has all over the country, especially when the personnel are appointed from different areas within the country.
“This ensures sensitivity regarding the location as also objectivity in addressing the security concerns and implementing exact standards, in the various sensitive and secured locations, manned by the personnel of the security force”, added the Bench.
Highlighting that the appellant’s counsel had been consistently urging compassion, which cannot be precipitated by proactive judicial orders, the Bench observed that there is absolutely no reason to interfere with the judgment of the Single Judge.
Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the letters patent appeal.
Cause Title: Manoj Kumar Gupta v. UOI and Ors.