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Employee In Transferable Job Has No Vested Right To Remain Posted At One Place, Courts Should Not Readily Interfere With Transfer Order: Delhi HC

Nupur Thapliyal
9 March 2022 2:17 PM GMT
Employee In Transferable Job Has No Vested Right To Remain Posted At One Place, Courts Should Not Readily Interfere With Transfer Order: Delhi HC
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Emphasizing that an employee in a transferable job has no vested right to remain posted at one place, the Delhi High Court has said that Courts should not readily interfere with the transfer order which is made in the public interest and for administrative reasons, unless the transfer order is made in violation of any mandatory statutory rule or on the ground of mala fide.A division...

Emphasizing that an employee in a transferable job has no vested right to remain posted at one place, the Delhi High Court has said that Courts should not readily interfere with the transfer order which is made in the public interest and for administrative reasons, unless the transfer order is made in violation of any mandatory statutory rule or on the ground of mala fide.

A division bench comprising of Justice Manmohan and Justice Navin Chawla added that if the Courts continue to interfere with day-to-day transfer orders issued by the Government or its subordinate Authorities, there will be complete chaos in the administration which would not be conducive to the public interest.

The Court was dealing with a plea seeking to set aside the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi dismissing the petition filed by the petitioner.

The plea further prayed for quashing and setting aside of the Office Order dated 09.04.2020 issued transferring the petitioner from New Delhi to Jaipur.

It was the case of the petitioner that in June 1992, he joined as a Section Officer in the Horticulture Wing. While in service, during the year 2016, the hearing impairment of the petitioner became quite severe, following which a duly-constituted Medical Board examined him at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi.

The petitioner, vide Disability Certificate dated 14.06.2016, was found suffering from bilateral moderately severe mixed hearing loss with amputation left finger and was assessed as having permanent disability of 65%, that is, 63% for hearing and 2% for locomotor disability of left upper limb.

The petitioner asserts that the respondent no. 2, had in 2018 invited options from Section Officers (Horticulture) for positing at certain stations. The petitioner gave his willingness to be posted to Guwahati and was accordingly transferred to Guwahati. The petitioner joined his new posting only on 18.02.2019.

Vide order dated 16.12.2019, the petitioner along with five other Section Officers was promoted to the post of Assistant Director (Horticulture). Despite representations made seeking transfer to New Delhi, the petitioner was retained in the Eastern Region and vide order dated 17.12.2019, the petitioner was posted to DD (Horticulture), Guwahati HQ: Shillong.

Thereafter, vide order dated 04.03.2020, the petitioner was directed to be posted in the office of DD (Horticulture) at New Delhi with effect from 27.02.2020. However, within thirty-five days of his transfer, vide impugned Office Order, the respondent no. 2 transferred the petitioner from the office of DD (Horticulture) at New Delhi to the office under CE Jaipur in Rajasthan.

"At the outset, it must be emphasised that an employee in a transferable job has no vested right to remain posted at one place. The Courts should not readily interfere with the transfer order which is made in the public interest and for administrative reasons, unless the transfer order is made in violation of any mandatory statutory rule or on the ground of mala fide," the Court said.

The Court was also of the view that even if a transfer order is passed in violation of executive instructions or orders, the Courts ordinarily should not interfere with the order, instead, the affected party should approach the higher authorities in the concerned department.

"Interference under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is permitted only where the Court finds either the transfer order is mala fide or that the service rules prohibit such transfer or that the Authorities issuing the order were not competent to pass the same. It must be remembered that transfer ordinarily is an incidence of service and must be left to the discretion of the Authorities concerned, which are in the best position to assess the necessities of the administrative requirements of the situation. The Courts must maintain judicial restraint in such matters," the Court said.

Noting that the petitioner, in his entire career, barring the period less than one year, the petitioner remained posted in New Delhi for almost 28 years, the Court said that the petitioner, therefore, cannot be allowed to claim that his transfer is bad merely because he was not allowed to complete a formal tenure posting of three years at New Delhi after his re-transfer from Shillong to Delhi.

"Present is one such case where we do not deem it appropriate to interfere with the impugned Officer Order passed by the Authorities, taking into account the earlier posting of the petitioner to New Delhi. In any case, the representation of the petitioner has also been considered by the Competent Authority pursuant to the order dated 11.09.2020 of this Court and the same was rejected," the Court said.

The Court said that it is a settled law that the High Court, in the exercise of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, does not sit as a Court of Appeal against the orders passed by the learned CAT.

"The power of judicial review must be exercised restrictively and on limited grounds. In the present case, we find no such infirmity in the impugned order passed by the learned CAT that warrants any interference from this court in exercise of its extra-ordinary discretionary jurisdiction," the Court held.

Accordingly, the plea was dismissed.

Case Title: AMARJEET SINGH DAGAR v. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 183

Click Here To Read Order 



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