The Supreme Court had also upheld the high court order and directed the Centre on May 9, 2017 to consider Gupta's inter-state transfer, after noting the threat perception.
The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre to place before the competent authority for considering the case of an IAS officer, who took a tough stand against transport mafia in Bihar despite threats to his life, to grant him inter cadre transfer. The court said the case of 2013-batch Bihar cadre IAS officer Jitendra Gupta be placed before the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) in the very first meeting to be held now so that the decision is taken without any further delay. A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Jyoti Singh passed the order while disposing of an application by the Centre seeking extension of time to comply with the court’s July 2 direction.
The court had directed the central government to initiate inter-cadre transfer of Gupta and issue the order to shift him out of Bihar cadre, completing the process within four weeks. Gupta had sought transfer to Haryana alleging threat to his life for acting tough against the transport mafia there. The Centre informed the court that the ACC is the competent authority for granting inter cadre transfer and it has not been possible to comply with the directions, which were time bound and compliance was required by July 30.
The court was told that the Bihar government had its clearance on July 17 for change of cadre of the officer. “Keeping in view the aforesaid position, we dispose of this application with a direction to the respondent no. 2 (Centre) to place the case of the respondent no. 1 (officer) for consideration by the ACC in the very first meeting which is held hereinafter so that a decision is taken thereon without any further delay,” it said in a recent order. The court listed the matter for further hearing on November 22.
The high court had earlier rebuked the state government for ‘humiliating, harassing and victimising’ the IAS officer and ordered it to pay Rs 5 lakh to him as compensation, saying the court cannot undo the harm done to him but the amount awarded would apply some balm to his wounds. The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) had earlier directed the Centre to consider the case of the officer for inter-state deputation to Haryana or for central government deputation. It had directed the state government not to withhold its consent for the inter-state deputation or central deputation of the officer and communicate it to the Centre. The state government challenged the CAT order before the high court.
It claimed that the tribunal failed to understand the mala fide intention of the officer for seeking cadre transfer which was to avoid a criminal case. The high court dismissed the state government’s appeal against the CAT order. In 2016, Gupta was arrested in a corruption case and was sent to jail. He was later granted bail and the FIR was quashed following the Patna High Court’s order.
In his plea before the CAT, Gupta had alleged that the mafia, in connivance with officers of the state vigilance department, had implicated him in a false case, alleging that he had seized four trucks on July 3, 2016 and demanded a bribe for releasing the vehicles. After being released on bail, he had moved the Patna High Court against the FIR. The high court had quashed the FIR against Gupta on October 28, 2016. The Supreme Court had also upheld the high court order and directed the Centre on May 9, 2017 to consider Gupta’s inter-state transfer, after noting the threat perception.