Read Order: Sunil Tanwar v. State of Haryana and Others

Monika Rahar 

Chandigarh, April 29, 2022: While dealing with a Writ Petition filed by a  petitioner serving as Patwari (Revenue official), challenging his order of transfer from one Patwar circle to another, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that transfer being a matter of administrative exigency, the Court generally refrains to interfere and treads cautiously, unless it is a case of extreme hardship. 

The Bench of Justice Arun Monga also said,“Moreover, to transfer an official, or not to, is the sole discretion of the employer based on the administrative exigencies. Not doing or doing so is not a punishment, but an integral part of service conditions. Ordinarily, this court would refrain from directing the respondent-authority to follow up its Policy unless there is an extreme administrative exigency and not to follow up self-professed guidelines.

The instant petition was filed before the Court for the issuance of a writ in the nature of certiorari for quashing the impugned non-speaking order issued by the office of State of Haryana, pursuant to which the petitioner was ordered to be transferred from Patwar Circle, Village Kothal Kalan, Tehsil Mahendergarh to Village Nayan, Tehsil Nangal Chaudhary. 

The petitioner was serving as Patwari (Revenue) in the office of respondents and was posted at the Patwar Circle at Village Kothal, Tehsil and District Mahendergarh. But, on November 28, 2019, he was transferred to the present station. 

It was the case of the petitioner’s counsel that his wife, who was employed in the Health Department and posted at CHC Nangal Sirohi, District Mahendergarh, was suffering from 70% disability of both lower limbs. The Counsel further submitted that vide the impugned order, the petitioner was transferred from Kothal Kalan, Tehsil Mahendergarh to Nayan, Tehsil Nangal Choudhary just to please the other employee who was ordered to be transferred at the current place of posting of the petitioner. 

It was also his case that for redressal of his grievance, the petitioner moved a representation but no satisfactory reply was received. 

The Court heard the parties and noted, at the very outset, that the place where the petitioner was now transferred by way of the impugned order was only 67 kilometres away from his home. 

Following this, the Court pertinently stated that transfer is a matter of administrative exigency, the Court generally refrains from interfering and it treads cautiously unless it is a case of extreme hardship. 

Coming to the present case, the Court observed that the case at hand did not seem to be such as to deserve any indulgence. Moreover, Justice Monga added that deciding on the matter of transfer is the sole discretion of the employer based on the administrative exigencies. 

Ordinarily, this court would refrain to direct the respondent-authority to follow up its Policy unless there is an extreme administrative exigency and not to follow up self-profess guidelines, held the Bench. 

Thus, finding no grounds for interference, the petition was dismissed. 

However, the Court held while departing that the dismissal of the writ petition shall not come in the way of the competent authority to consider the representation of the petitioner, which is stated to be pending and has not been adverted to.

Accordingly, the Court concluded by saying, “It is expected of the competent authority to verify the mitigating circumstances as enumerated in the petition and pass appropriate orders if deemed necessary.”

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