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Writ petition questioning transfer of government employees dismissed and courts power to   judicial review simplified -Manipur high court

Writ petition questioning transfer of government employees dismissed and courts power to   judicial review simplified -Manipur high court

The writ petition questioning the transfer and posting of the health officer was dismissed by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.V. MURALIDARAN in the case of  Bobby Laishram versus The State of Manipur and Ors. ( WP(C) No. 368 of 2020)

The crux of the case is the petitioner was appointed In the health department, Manipur as a pharmacist and was posted in Chandel district but the petitioner was transferred to a different district without completion of the term of 3 years and concerning this, a writ petition was filed by petitioner challenging the transfer and posting.

Respondents 1 and 2 filed counter-affidavit stating that the transfer order was issued by the second respondent in exigencies of service because of combating and controlling Covid-19 pandemic and the transfer order was issued for administrative convenience which may not be interfered with by the Court and does not fall under judicial review.

The learned counsel on behalf of petitioners submitted that the impugned transfer order has not complied with the transfer policy and is thus biased, malafide, arbitrary, and improper and therefore, the same is liable to be set aside as far as the petitioner is concerned and further submitted that the transfer order was issued not only in violation of various Office Memorandums but also the same was issued to cause harassment to the petitioner the decisions of Gauhati high court in the cases of Prasanna Kumar Nath v. State of Assam and others, 2004 (4) GLT 348 and Dayal Das v. State of Assam and others, 2002 (2) GLT 109, learned senior counsel for the petitioner submitted that the State Government itself framing the guidelines are bound to act within the parameters of the said guidelines with the justified exception here and there. 

The learned counsel on behalf of respondents submitted that impugned transfer order was issued in exigencies of service and for administrative convenience which maybe not be interfered with by the High Court and further submitted that Unless an order of transfer is shown to be an outcome of malafide exercise, the Courts normally may not interfere with such order as a matter of routine. Therefore, he prayed for the dismissal of the writ petition.

The court considered the submissions from both sides and decided that According to the petitioner, no employee should be kept in post for more than 3 years. Similarly, no transfer may be effected unless the concerned employee has completed about 3 years in a post unless there are compelling reasons to do so which in this case he is duty-bound to do healthcare services towards the public which has nowadays become a prime consideration to combat Covid-19 pandemic as well as the exigency of service.

The court on interference stated that Transfer ordinarily is an incidence of service and Courts should be very reluctant to interfere in transfer orders as long as they are not illegal. Thus, this Court is of the view that transfer and posting of a Government employee must be left in the discretion of the respondent authorities concerned which are in the best position to assess the necessities of the administrative requirement of the situation. And from the case of Union of India and others v. Lt. General Rajendra Singh and another, reported in (2000) 6 SCC 698 the court held that transfers are best left to the discretion of the competent authority and should not be tinkered with, in the absence of a demonstrable violation of statutory rules, or an instance of mala fide on the part of the competent authority. In the case on hand, the respondent authorities have satisfactorily explained the reason for issuing the transfer and posting order to the petitioner, and considering all the above factors the writ petition was dismissed.

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Judgment reviewed by Naveen sharma

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