The Punjab and Haryana High Court made it clear that in the interests of administrative requirements, no intervention should be made by the courts in the transfer orders issued by any authorities. The transfer orders cannot, as a matter of practice, be dealt with by the courts as if they were authorities. Requirements issued in the name of regulatory standards should not be messed with. The only exception is whether the exercise of regulatory power is in breach of a contractual requirement or a patent mala fide.
No interference of court if transfer for administrative exigencies: HC
Facts of the case
Sandeep Kumar, an ex-serviceman who currently works as a clerk at Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana University of Agriculture (CCSHAU), Hisar. Kumar challenged the transfer order dated May 20 in which he was moved from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Bhiwani to the University campus of Hisar. The petitioner had entered Hisar Agriculture University as clerk in November 2019 after serving the Navy for some 17 years. He had submitted an application in December 2019 for his move from Hisar to KVK, Bhiwani, on compassionate grounds citing his ailing mother’s health condition. His request was considered, and he was transferred against a vacant post to Bhiwani on 10 January. Aggrieved, he had approached the HC alleging that, after four months, his retransfer to Hisar was unfair.
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Whether the transfer is violative of any statutory provisions or a mala fide exercise of administrative authority?
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The law on the subject of transfer is very clear and that unless and until, the transfer is shown to be violative of statutory provisions or a mala fide exercise of administrative authority, the Courts will not interfere in the discretion exercised by the administrative authority. The female employee claimed she had to fly to Hisar on a regular basis but her movement had become exceedingly difficult because of a fracture in the backbone. She said the university authorities only moved her after realizing her case had more merit. The woman employee reportedly sustained a spine fracture in February 2020. The fact that she lives in Bhiwani and has to commute to Hisar everyday was not contested. Under the circumstances it cannot be anticipated that she will be moved to Hisar, and expediency requires that she remain at Bhiwani. The petitioner had been transferred on compassionate grounds and the same exists till date.
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Transfer is not only an incident of service, but is a condition of service, where an employee is appointed to a transferable post. The transfer orders cannot be interfered with by the Courts, as a matter of routine, as though, they are appellate authorities. No interference should be done with orders passed in the interest of administrative exigencies. The only exception is if there is a violation of a statutory provision or a patent mala fide exercise of administrative authority. The petitioner may seek transfer to Bhiwani once again on compassionate basis after the medical condition improved substantially. The transfer order thus, did not suffer from any illegality and was upheld.
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