The Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the transfer order of a CISFofficial of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) citing that it was made for administrative reasons.
Justice Anu Sivaraman added that it would not be justified to interfere with the same particularly since it was the transfer of a member of a uniformed service when there were no sustainable malafides.
"In view of the specific reasons stated in Exhibit P9 that the transfer was necessitated on administrative grounds, I am of the opinion that this Court would not be justified in interfering in an order of transfer, especially where the petitioner is a member of a uniformed service. This Court cannot enter into an enquiry as to the reasons for the transfer or the necessity for the same, in the absence of any sustainable grounds of mala fide or violation of any statutory provisions."
The petitioner was serving as Inspector in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Unit BPCL, Kochi Refinery when he was transferred to CISF Unit in Telangana.
Advocates T. Sanjay, Sanil Kumar G and Midhun R appearing for the petitioner submitted that he had preferred a representation before the Director-General of CISF Headquarters pointing out that the transfer was premature since he had not completed the normal tenure of three years in Cochin. However, the representation was dismissed last month and the petitioner was served with a movement order. He added that the refusal on the part of the respondents to permit him to complete his three-year tenure at Cochin is illegal and arbitrary.
Further, they contended that the Director General's decision is a non-speaking order and that no reasons whatsoever were stated for transferring the petitioner before his normal tenure expired. Relying on several decisions, the petitioner contended that a speaking order is required to be passed when this Court directs consideration of the representation.
However, ASGI S. Manu appearing for the respondents submitted that the transfer is clearly on administrative grounds and the petitioner cannot claim any right to continue in a particular station for a particular tenure in view of the fact that his services are required elsewhere. It was also contended that transfer is an incident of service and the scope of interference in an order of transfer is extremely limited as has been held by the Apex Court. It is further submitted that the impugned order specifically addresses the contentions raised by the petitioner and it is specified in the order that the transfer is necessitated due to administrative grounds.
The ASGI also recalled that the Apex Court had held that constitutional courts should not interfere with a transfer order made in the public interest and for administrative reasons, unless the transfer orders are made in violation of any mandatory or statutory rule or on the ground of mala fide.
The Court noted that the guidelines issued with regard to transfer are non-statutory in nature. In that light, the Judge took the view that the contention raised by the petitioner that he is entitled to continue at the present station till he completes his normal tenure of three years cannot be accepted since the respondents specifically state that the transfer is necessitated due to administrative reasons.
As such, the petition was dismissed.
Case Title: Akhil M v. Union of India & Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 333