Higher Interest of Administration Overrides General Transfer Policy Guidelines: Tripura High Court

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In Sri Biman Kanti Saha vs Tripura Small Industries Corporation Ltd. and Ors., the Hon’ble Chief Justice Akil Kureshi dealt with a writ petition challenging a transfer on the ground of it being against the general transfer policy guidelines.

Facts

The Petitioner, holding the post of Division Accountant in Tripura Small Industries Corporation Limited (TSICL) from 1992 was transferred from the present place of posting. This transfer has been challenged on the following grounds, by the Petitioner: First, being an office-bearer of a recognized association the Petitioner enjoys a degree of protection against transfer. Second, the Petitioner is due to retire on 30th September 2021; and the Petitioner’s wife is also a govt servant at the present city of work.

Arguments Advanced

The Petitioners contended that the Govt of Tripura has formulated a policy which grants protection to office bearers of recognized employees’ associations against arbitrary transfers. The Petitioners argued that these were applicable in the present case. The Petitioner is an office-bearer of one such registered association, thus, the transfer could not be effected without the approval of the concerned Minister as per the requirements under the policy which was formulated via a memorandum in 1994.

Court’s Observations 

It is well settled that the Court could not interfere unless the transfer order is shown to be mala fide or is opposed to the statutory provisions. this was following the precedent held in the case of Mrs Shilpi Bose and others vs. State of Bihar and Ors. Further, it is the discretion of the employer to decide when, where and at what point an employee is to be transferred. 

Transfer guidelines do not confer legally justifiable right per se, as held in the case of Union of India and others vs. S.L. Abbas. The transfer policy cited by Petitioner does not provide that it would apply to employees of Corporations constituted by Government. Such Corporations would fall under the definition of State under Article 12 of the Constitution. The general policy of not being subjected to transfer if both wife and husband work at the same station needs to be followed as far as possible, however, higher administrative interests can override such general policy guidelines.

Court’s Conclusion

The Court thus held that the Petitioner had no right to insist on being placed in the same station as he was transferred. This was because a new station was established by the Corporation and his services were required. No allegation of mala fide intent has been made. Therefore, the order of transfer cannot be disturbed. The Petition filed by the Petitioner was dismissed by the Court.

Click here to read the judgment


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