It is mostly seen when there is change of guard control, be it Punjab, Haryana or Chandigarh (UT, central government), the officers concerned are transferred out of malice, ill-will and oppression.

The concerned officer can seek help or courts to examine whether the transfer is arbitrary, illegal or against the constitutional scheme of the service law. One such case has come to light where the CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) is pleased to stay the transfer of impugned order calling it illegal and arbitrary.

CAT Tribunal Chandigarh Case
CAT Tribunal Chandigarh Case of Transfer Stayed

Facts of the Case

In the pertinent case, Indian Forest Service officer Jitendra Sharma, currently serving as the head of forest force, Punjab challenged his transfer from the post of principal chief conservator of forests to the post of managing director, Punjab State Forest Development Corporation in the CAT Tribunal. He claimed that the transfer order is in violation of the IFS (Cadre) Rules, 1966 according to which the department of personnel, public grievances and pensions has prescribed that a civil services board has to be constituted for effecting a posting. In the present matter, no such board was constituted and the transfer order was issued without complying with the proper procedure. The judge allowed a stay on the transfer.

Legal Points

  1. Transfer orders must be made in compliance with the IFS (Cadre) Rules, 1966.
  2. As per DoPT (Department of personnel, public grievances and pensions) Guidelines, a civil services board must be constituted for affecting a posting.
  3. If the indicated procedure is not followed, then the transfer is illegal in nature.
  4. For Group A and B officers, transfers are made on completion of two years of service along with specific recommendations of the members of the constituted Civil Services Board.
  5. If the case can be made out prima facie, the applicant is entitled to get relief.

For now, the government servant’s transfer has been stayed, rest the action will be adjudicated by the court on merits.

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