Read order: State of West Bengal vs. Reena Joshi

Pankaj Bajpai

New Delhi, September 1,2021: While refusing to interfere in the decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) directing the State of West Bengal to pass fresh order on inter-cadre transfer in IAS Department, the Delhi High Court has ruled that denial of inter-cadre transfer calls for reasons.

A Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh observed that unless the reasons set out in the order of refusal for inter-cadre transfer are backed by relevant material, it cannot pass muster of this Court.

The observation came pursuant to a petition filed by the State challenging the order of the CAT, whereby it directed the State to pass fresh order on the request of the respondent seeking inter-cadre transfer way back in 2016.

The inter-cadre transfer was sought by the respondent on account of the fact that, her spouse, who is an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of 2012 batch, was posted in Uttarakhand cadre. However, this request was rejected by the petitioner i.e., the State of West Bengal on account of shortage of officers.

The High Court found that the petitioner has trotted out, shortage of officers, as the reason, for rejecting the request of respondent qua inter-cadre transfer, without placing the relevant material on record.

The Division Bench further noted that similar approach has been taken, in matter after matter, by the petitioner where officer(s) have sought inter-cadre transfer to other State(s) on account of their marriage, and which has been refused on a similar ground.

Therefore, the High Court dismissed the petition observing that the CAT has given another opportunity to the petitioner to pass a fresh order.

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