Tripura High Court holds that the Service Rule of Repatriating Deputionists at least Six Months Prior is Directory

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In the case of Sri Nikhil Chandra vs State of Tripura & Ors, WP(C) No.309/2020,  Hon’ble Justice Mr Akhil Kureshi dealt with the challenge to an order repatriating deputationists to parent organization from government service.

Brief Facts

A memorandum was issued by the Under-Secretary of the Tripura Government to post 10 employees of TSCCF including the Petitioner in the office of Sub Divisional Magistrate. By an order dated 30.03.2006, the petitioner was posted in the office of Sub-Divisional Magistrate. These employees were released by TSCCF to join their duty, to which Petitioner reported on 31.03.2006 which was recorded through an order which states that their services will be treated as on deputation for 2 years. On 29.09.2009, Petitioner wrote a letter to Secretary, Revenue Department that he has not been issued a letter of appointment absorbing him as an employee of Sub-Divisional Magistrate, later on, 26.05.2020 an order that sought to repatriate the Petitioner to his previous organization was made since he was nearing superannuation. This order has been challenged through a writ petition.

Arguments Advanced

Respondents submitted that the government has clearly conveyed on 16.03.2006 that the staff may be withdrawn and posted to newly created Sub-Divisions of Teliamura and Santirbazar clearly conveying that petitioner was sent on deputation. Such change was allowed since the financial condition of TSCCF was weak and wanted to avoid the termination of employment. A deputationist has no right of absorption in the Government service. The Government policy does not permit any such absorption. Further, the Petitioner has been transferred to the parent organization in order to regulate his financial benefits as superannuation is nearing. The government had taken a decision on 21.05.2020 that employees of PSUs and Board cannot be to the government department and must be repatriated min 6 months prior to retirement.

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Petitioners contended that the order on 30.03.2006 gives no indication that the Petitioner was sent on deputation and uses the words “appointed and posted” which was without any notice changed into the words deputation in the order of 02.06.2006. Rule 110 of Fundamental Rules does not envisage deputation to government service but only deputation from government service. Further, he has for several years discharged the duty under government service without any blemish and repatriation right before retirement is arbitrary. Since the initial order did not mention any deputation but appointment, the petitioner never consented to any deputation service.

Court’s Observation & Judgment

The court observed that the petitioner was sent on deputation as clearly mentioned in the order dated 02.06.2006 which also contains the terms of service. This clearly shows the intention of the government and was conveyed adequately to the Petitioner. Earlier orders had loosely used the words “appointed and posted”. Petitioner has not contended that he ever disputed him being appointed as a deputationist by order dated 02.06.2006 and therefore clearly understood his duties was of a deputationist and exercised them so. There is no requirement of statutory rule for an employee to be sent on deputation and there is nothing to suggest that consent of employees cannot be derived from circumstances. The provision of repatriation minimum 6 months prior to retirement is to be taken directory and not mandatory. Deputionist cannot have a right to permanent absorption and depends on the policy of the department. Hence the petition stands dismissed.


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