w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n

Dr. Santosh Kumar Baishya & Others v/s The Union of India, Represented by its Secretary, Department of Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi & Others

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Company & Directors' Information:- I AND D RESEARCH PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74140DL2003PTC118439

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    Original Application No. 040/00153 of 2019

    Decided On, 29 January 2020

    At, Central Administrative Tribunal Guwahati Bench Guwahati


    For the Applicants: K. Bhuyan, Advocate. For the Respondents: Jupi Tara Das, S.C (ICAR).

Judgment Text

Nekkhomang Neihsial, Member (A).

1. Since five applicants are praying for similar reliefs from the same respondents, hence prayer for joining together in a single application under Rule 4(5)(a) of the Central Administrative Tribunals (Procedure) Rules, 1987 is allowed.

2. This O.A. No. 040/00153/2019 has been filed by the applicants seeking the following reliefs:

“8(i) To set aside and quash the impugned office memorandum/transfer guidelines dated 06-07-2018 issued by Respondent No.3.

(ii) To direct/commend the respondents to provide the transfer benefit to the applicants in accordance with approved transfer policy dated 19-04-2018.

(iii) To pay cost of this application and incidentals.

(iv) And/or pass such other order/orders as this Hon’ble Tribunal may deem fit and proper in the interest of justice.”

3. The grounds for relief as put forward by the applicants are as under:-

i. That in respect to the advertisement No. 03/2014, the President of Indian Council of Agriculture Research Society (ICAR) was pleased to appoint the applicants as Programme Coordinator in different places at KVK in North East Region under ARS Rules. The applicants, thereafter, re-designated as Senior Scientist cum Head of KVK and are entitled to transfer from KVK to Institute under ICAR as their tenure of initial posting has been modified upto 3 years because of rendering service at remote station as per transfer policy for ARS Scientists dated 19.04.2018.

ii. At present, there are more than 110 ICAR Institute in India having at least 2 post of Senior Scientist in a particular discipline totalling 220 posts. On the other hand, in Krishi Vigyan Kendra) under ICAR, there are only 63 posts of senior scientist and by issuing impugned transfer policy dated 06.07.2018, restriction is being arbitrarily imposed to the applicants that the Senior Scientist can not go to Institute under ICAR by way of transfer i.e. inter-transfer benefit cut off to the applicants only is bad in law.

iii. That transfer order dated 15.11.2012 and 07.04.2015 are prima facie evidence that Programme Coordinator already been transferred to Institution from KVK under ICAR and restriction being imposed to the applicants only is bad in law.

iv. That the applicants having Discipline as Veterinary Gynecology, Agronomy, Agricultural Extension and Extension respectively and they are Senior Scientist under ARS Rules. But due to this impugned transfer policy dated 06.07.2018, equal rights and equal opportunity for transfer has been curtailed thereby they are being deprived of life of personal liberty.

v. That the respondent No. 3 acting in an unjust and irrational manner, violated the principle of natural justice.

4. The respondent authorities filed their written statement on 28.08.2019. In the written statement, among others, they have brought out that the post of ‘Programme Co-ordinator’; ICAR-KVK has only been renamed as ‘Senior Scientist-cum-Head’, ICAR-KVK. They also contended that all the applicants belong to ‘Senior Scientist-cum-Head, KVK’ Cadre and recruitment to the post of Sr. Scientist-cum-Head, KVK is made through ASRB for a specific post at specific KVK, situated at a specific location. Sr. Scientist-cum-Head, KVK posts are not a part of general Agricultural Research Service (ARS) cadre, like ARS Scientist/Sr. Scientist/Pr. Scientist, which is integrated, All India ARS-Cadre for specific ARSdiscipline. For example, a DR-Scientist selected in the ARS-discipline of ‘Agronomy’ is appointed in ICAR in the cadre of ARS-Scientist (Agronomy), therefore, as per ICAR transfer Policy guidelines issued vide communication No. 38(2)/2011-Per. IV (pt.) dated 19.04.2018, he/she can be transferred anywhere in India where vacancy in the discipline of Scientist (Agronomy) is available. As no ARS-discipline has been earmarked or assigned to the post of Sr. Scientist-cum-Head, KVK, hence, not covered in existing ARS-transfer policy of ICAR. Therefore, keeping in view the exclusivity of the Cadre of ‘Senior Scientist-cum-Head, KVK, as separate transfer Policy issued vide Council’s Memorandum No. 38(10)/2017-Per.IV dated 06.07.2018 specifically meant for Senior Scientist-cum-Head, KVK, where a Head KVK can be transferred from one ICAR-KVK to another ICARKVK, if post of Head, KVK is available there. These two transfer policies for ARS-Cadre Scientist and Sr. Scientistcum- Head, KVK are mutually exclusive in terms of minimum number of service mandatorily required for being eligible for on request transfer.

5. When the case was heard on 28.11.2019, following three questions were raised:-

(i) The question arises as to the issuance of two transfer guidelines dated 19.04.2018 and 06.07.2018 issued by the Under Secretary and Director (P) of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research respectively;

(ii) The another issue is as to whether the Agriculture Research Service Scientist and Senior Scientist cum Head of KVK each are in different cadre?

(iii) Whether the transfer guideline for Senior Scientist cum Head of KVK was issued with due approval of the competent authority?

6. On that date i.e. 28.11.2019, the Director (Personnel), Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Krishi Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prashad Road, New Delhi was directed to depute one officer who is well conversant with the rules and provisions regarding the transfer guideline so far the issues are concerned on the next date fixed so as to assist the court with clarification. Accordingly, two officers from the Ministry namely Shashi Ranjan, Assistant, ICAR, HQ, New Delhi and Arkajyoti Das, assisted by ICAR Research Centre, NEH Region, Umiam (Meghalaya) appeared on 10.01.2020. They have given oral clarification and also submitted copies of the Notings in regard to the status of Sr. Scientist-cum Head, KVK with reference to the Agricultural Research Service Scientists. They have also submitted a copy of the Notings wherein approval of the Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture was taken on 05.06.2018 in regard to the issue of transfer order No. 38(10)/2017-Per.IV dated 06.07.2018, which is subject matter of challenge under this O.A.

7. Apart from giving hearing to both the parties, we have gone through the copies and papers made available to the court. It is seen from the Notings dated 23.05.2018 in File No. 38(10)/2017 (Computer No. 25179) that the Transfer Policy Guidelines approved by the Hon’ble Agriculture Minister and issued as ‘Transfer Guidelines for Senior Scientist cum Head KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendra) administered by ICAR Institutes vide Office Memorandum No. 38(10)/2017-Per.IV dated 06.07.2018, Anneuxre-4 to the 4, is based on the recommendation of the Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. P. Das, Ex- DDG (Agril Extension). In the para ‘c’ of the recommendation, it has been clearly indicated that – ‘The incumbent Head of KVK may apply for transfer to another ICAR-Institute-KVK after completion of 5 years tenure based on availability of vacancy’. This has been approved by the Hon’ble Agriculture Minister and found issued by the authorities as the Transfer Guidelines. The Ministry also has been able to bring out with the copy of the Notings that Senior Scientist-cum-Head of ICAR-KVK are separate cadre and different from the Scientists of Agriculture Research Service.

8. The basic points of challenge by the applicants was that – they are part and partial cadre of the same cadre of Agriculture Research Service and they should not be treated differently and the Transfer Policy meant for them should be equally applicable to them. They also challenged that the Transfer Policy issued vide Office Memorandum dated 06.07.2018 was without approval of the competent authority.

9. From the submissions made in the court along

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with copies of the Notings, it has been clearly demonstrated that though the applicants may belongs to the same Ministry, they are of the separate set of Cadre specifically belongs to KVK and not at par with the general Agriculture Research Service. It has also been demonstrated that the Transfer Guidelines order issued vide Office Memorandum dated 06.07.2018 though signed by Director (P), was approved by the competent authority i.e. Hon’ble Agriculture Minister. In fact, under the same Administrative Ministry, there could be a number of service cadres having different Rules and Guidelines particularly Ministries like Home Affairs, Finance Ministry, Defence Ministry etc. 10. From the above, we find that the present O.A. is devoid of merit and liable to be dismissed. 11. Accordingly, the O.A. is hereby dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.