No government servant has a right to say posted at the place of his/her choice, according to a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement. The decision came in a case where a 100 per cent visually impaired Haryana Cadre IAS Officer had challenged the Haryana government’s decision to transfer him.
The IAS officer had filed a plea against the government for transferring him from the post of Deputy Commissioner (DC), Fatehabad, to the post of Director-General, Swarna Jayanti Haryana Institute of Fiscal Management (SJHIFM). Earlier, the officer, Ravi Prakash Gupta, had filed a similar petition before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Both the CAT and high court dismissed his plea that sought cancellation of the government order.
According to a report by The Indian Express, the division bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Ashok Kumar Verma, said that the transfer is “an incident of service” and government servants have no right to remain posted at a place of his choice and they also cannot dictate any terms in regard with posting.
“The said power is vested in the employer, who is to exercise the said powers as per the administrative exigencies keeping in view the public interest unless it involves any adverse impact on the career or further prospects,” the report quoted the bench as saying.
It is to note that as per the petition, IAS officer Ravi Prakash Gupta is 100 per cent visually impaired. Gupta was posted as DC in Fatehabad in December 2019 and after a few months, he posting was changed to DG, SJHIFM in May 2020. On June 3, 2020, Gupta moved CAT stating that this was a violation of Rule 7 of Cadre Rules as he was transferred before the completion of two years of service. Apart from this, he argued that the Haryana state did not give any reasons to pass the order. However, the plea was dismissed by the CAT. After this, Gupta moved the high court.
Meanwhile, the Advocate General in Haryana said that the petitioner was not the only one who was transferred and three others were transferred. According to him, the exercise was carried out on the back of an unprecedented situation arising due to Covid-19 pandemic.