Gujarat High Court, earlier this month refused to interfere with a Transfer order passed against three Police Constables on the ground that they were found attending a marriage reception of the son of a noted bootlegger. Holding that such a transfer order was in Public Interest, Justice J.B.Pardiwala said “If a police constable is found to be in company of criminals or persons accused of having committed any offence then his transfer from that place must be held to be in the public interest.”
Public interest demands that an officer or an employee posted at a particular post, must inspire confidence, not only among his fellow employees and superior authorities, but also among the members of the public, the Court said. The Court further held whatever furthers the general interest of the Community, as opposed to the particular interest of the individuals, must be regarded as public purpose. The court said “‘In the context of public service it would mean the interest of public as opposed to the personal, political or other extraneous interest.”
The Court was considering the Writ petition challenging transfer orders moved by three Police Constables. Counsel for the petitioner had argued that attending the wedding reception has nothing to do with the public interest and the word “Public Interest” used in the orders of transfer is vague. Rejecting those contentions, the court said that police constables attending the reception“necessarily implies the close proximity of the police constables with a noted bootlegger”. The court further said that it is desirable that such police constables should be kept at a distance so that their position is not abused by criminals.
Relying on the decision by Gujarat High Court in Haroon Yusufbhai Kadiwala V. Director General of Police 2011 (3) GLH(UJ) 8 the Counsel also said that the transfer of a head constable from one district to the other amounts to deputation and can be made only on administrative grounds in cases of emergency, which is not the case here. Answering that aspect the Court held “The words in Article 154(3)(D) “unless such a transfer is considered necessary” should not be construed as the necessity of transfer under Section 28 alone.” The court added “It is the existence of the circumstances constituting the public interest which is to be seen by the Court, once the circumstances are shown to have existed, the sufficiency of the circumstance is for the government to decide”.
Read the Judgment here.