While exercising the power of judicial review, the High Court should not readily accept the charge of malus animus laid against the State and its functionaries. The burden to prove the charge of malafides is always on the person who moves the court for invalidation of the action of the State and/or its agencies and instrumentalities on the ground that the same is vitiated due to malafides: The Uttarakhand High Court

The Uttarakhand high court Passed a Judgement on 19th march 2019 in the case Dr. Praveen v. Director General, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education and others(Stay Application No.3074 of 2019) the case was presided by Honourable justice Mr. Ramesh ranganath and Honourable Justice Mr. N.S Dhanik



The petitioner has invoked the jurisdiction of this Court, under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution of India, seeking a writ of certiorari to quash the order in OA No.616/2018 dated 19.02.2019 passed, by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Allahabad Bench, Circuit sitting in Nainital; a writ of certiorari to quash the transfer order dated 14.05.2018, and relieving orders passed on 14.05.2018, 18.05.2018 and 08.10.2018; and to pass an order of stay of the impugned order of transfer, and of the order of the Tribunal. the petitioner was hitherto transferred to Jorhat, Assam by proceedings dated 21.08.2015. This order of transfer was effected in the backdrop of a pending sexual harassment complaint, and several representations filed by her and her husband, to various authorities, seeking a probe regarding awarding fake Ph.D. degrees to a clique of IFS officers, plagiarism etc in the Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (for short “ICFRE”). Questioning her transfer as vitiated by malafides, the petitioner approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, Allahabad Bench, Nainital Circuit Bench (for short “CAT”) by filing OA No.4081 of 2015.

By an elaborate order in O.A. No.4081 of 2015 dated 13.07.2016, the CAT set-aside the impugned orders of transfer as vitiated by malafides. The CAT observed that the objective of the transfer was to punish and remove the applicant, who had become inconvenient to the respondents; the petitioner, a lady, had acted with courage in raising issues relating to fake Ph.D. degrees, and large scale plagiarism prevailing in the Institute; her transfer was the result of the issues being raised by her; it was for the authorities to constitute a High Power Committee to inquire into these charges, and to set their house in order ; while the order of transfer did not lower her rank or reduce her salary, it was likely to cause much inconvenience to her as she had adopted a child recently who would be removed from familiar surroundings; she could not be punished, in any event, for raising issues like sexual harassment, fake Ph.D. degrees and plagiarism; the applicant was a whistle blower; and though she had staked no claims to it, in as many words, she was entitled to the protection under the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, 2011, and the numerous decisions relating to whistleblowers.


No rule which requires an employee to be put on notice, before a transfer order is passed, has also been brought to our notice. The Tribunal has examined the matter in great detail, and has held that the manner in which an organization should be run is for those, at the helm of its affairs, to decide; and Courts/Tribunals lack expertise in such matters. The view taken by the Tribunal cannot be said to be a view which could not have been taken at all, for it is only then would this Court be justified in exercising its certiorari jurisdiction, under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to interfere.

Viewed from any angle, we are satisfied that the order of the Tribunal, impugned in the writ petition, does not suffer from an error apparent warranting exercise of our certiorari jurisdiction. The writ petition fails and is, accordingly, dismissed. No costs.

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