Read Order: R ASHOK Vs. THE CHIEF ENGINEER / PERSONNEL TAMILNADU GENERATION AND DISTRIBUTION CORPORATION AND ORS

Mansimran Kaur 

Madurai, April 19, 2022:The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has held that competent Authorities have to decide how transfers and postings are issued. In the event of interfering in such routine administrative affairs of the Departments, there will be a lot of inconvenience to the public administration.

The Bench of Justice S.M.Subramaniam asserted, “Transfer is incidental to service, more so a condition of service. Post or place can never be claimed as a matter of right by the public servants.”

Brief facts of the case were such that the petitioner was working as Field Assistant in the office of the fifth respondent which comes under Erode Circle. He is a permanent resident of Karur District. The petitioner stated that he met with an accident in the year 2015 and got injuries in his right leg. His disability was fixed at 40%. Thus, pursuant to the same, he submitted an application seeking his transfer. The said application was considered by the first respondent and an order was passed on October 17 2019,  transferring the petitioner from Erode Circle to Karur Circle. However, the petitioner was not relieved from Erode Circle and therefore, he instituted  a writ petition with a prayer to direct the respondents to relieve him from Erode Circle.

An interim order was passed by the Court favoring the transfer of the petitioner. The petitioner contended that the Authorities were not adhering to the observation of the Court concerning his transfer request. However, the authorities subsequently found that due to the dearth of Field Assistant post in Erode Circle, the petitioner’s case for transfer could not be considered and accordingly, canceled the order dated October 17, 2019 on administrative grounds.

The petitioner however, contended that this Court had earlier accepted the case of the petitioner and made an observation that the second respondent must comply with the order passed by the first respondent by transferring the petitioner to Erode Circle. Therefore, the impugned order was to be quashed. 

This Court observed that when the matter is listed for final hearing then the observations made at the time of interim hearing play no role and therefore the cancellation of transfer order on administrative grounds could not be assailed on the ground that the petitioner was a beneficiary party at the time the interim order was passed. 

It was further observed that the transfer is  an incidental to  service, a pre-condition before accepting the employment. The employees cannot opt for the place and post of their own choice as the same shall vitiate administrative discipline. It was further noted that the transfer on the basis of administrative grounds cannot be assailed.

The Court observed that the petitioner was not relieved from the Erode Circle as there was a scarcity of Field Assistants. It was noted that the post or transfer is not a matter of right, thus assailing the transfer naturally was not a right of the petitioner. Additionally, it was observed that the intervention of the Court was not required in the instant case , as the transfer orders fall within the jurisdiction of the competent Authorities and the Court cannot interfere with such orders of transfer, which are all in the interest of public administration. 

In view of the above facts and circumstances, the Court observed that  neither the transfer order nor the cancellation order would not provide any service right to the petitioner as none of his service conditions was violated. Therefore, the petitioner was  at liberty to submit a fresh application for request transfer and in the event of any feasibility, the Authorities may consider the request of the petitioner by taking note of his personal grievance, if any. Accordingly, the writ petition was disposed of. 

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