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R.S. Chaurasia v/s State of Chhattisgarh, through the Secretary, Public Works Department, Raipur & Others

    Writ Appeal No. 323 of 2021

    Decided On, 05 January 2022

    At, High Court of Chhattisgarh


    For the Appellant: Jitendra Gupta, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R4, Gagan Tiwari, Dy. Govt. Advocate, R5, Naushina Afrin Ali, Advocate.

Judgment Text

CAV Judgment

N.K. Chandravanshi, J.

1. This writ appeal is directed against an order dated 29.09.2021 passed by the learned Single Judge in WPS No.5253 of 2021. Challenge in the writ petition was to an order of transfer dated 15.09.2021, whereby, the appellant, who was posted as Sub Divisional Officer, Public Works Department, Sub Division-Abhanpur, District Raipur, was tranferred on administrative ground as Assistant Engineer to the office of Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Naya Raipur.

2. Learned Counsel for the appellant submits that the appellant is aged about 62 years and as he is going to retire on 30.06.2022, process for grant of pension and retirement benefits have been initiated (Annexure A-5), by the office of Executive Engineer, PWD Division-3, Naya Raipur. It is pleaded that Clause 1.8 of the transfer policy issued by the General Administration Department, Government of Chhattisgarh provides that the government servants, who have one year for their retirement, would be posted in their home district or in the district as per their choice, if permissible under the General Book Circular. The respondent No.1 overlooking all these aspects, has transferred the appellant vide impugned transfer order dated 15.09.2021 (Annexure A-2) from Sub Division, PWD, Abhanpur to the office of the Chief Engineer, PWD, Naya Raipur, as Assistant Engineer, with mala fide intention, only to accommodate respondent No.5, who is an influential person. The respondent No.5, who has been promoted, has also joined in the new place of posting in absence of the appellant. He submits that the learned Single Judge, without taking into consideration the issues raised by the petitioner, had dismissed the writ petition of the appellant solely on the ground of distance between the two places of posting being short. Hence, he prays that the writ appeal be allowed and the reliefs as prayed for, be granted.

3. Learned counsel for the State, while opposing the arguments advanced by learned counsel for the appellant, submits that the appellant has been transferred from Sub Division, PWD, Abhanpur to the office of Executive Engineer, PWD, Naya Raipur, which is under the same district and same division of Public Works Department and thus, no district or division is being changed. Distance of those two places of posting is only about 16 to 17 kms. and therefore, no service condition or the transfer policy of the government is violated by the impugned transfer order of the appellant. He further submits that the appellant has remained posted for more than 4 years in the Sub Division, PWD, Abhanpur and respondent No.5 was promoted to the post of Assistant Engineer and then he has been posted as Sub Divisional Officer, PWD, Sub Division, Abhanpur, District Raipur and hence, it is wrong to say that the impugned transfer order has been issued only to accommodate respondent No.5. It is contended that the transfer order was made purely on administrative ground. He further submits that in catena of judgments, the Hon’ble Apex Court has held that an employee does not have any vested right to be posted at a particular place. Hence, the impugned order passed by the learned Single Judge does not call for any interference in this appeal.

4. Learned counsel for the respondent No.5 also supports the impugned order and submits that it does not call for any interference by this Court.

5. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and perused the materials available on record. We have also perused the original file noting of the relevant files, which were called for by this Court.

6. In the impugned order, the learned Single Judge observed as follows:

“Considering the short distance between the two places of posting, this Court is of the firm opinion that no substantial inconvenience would be caused to the petitioner and none of the service conditions of the petitioner are going to get adversely affected in any manner. Under the circumstances, this Court does not find any strong case made out calling for an interference with the same, the writ petition therefore is dismissed.”

7. It is settled proposition of law that writ courts are not appellate forums to decide on transfer of officers on administrative grounds. The wheels of administration should be allowed to run smoothly and the Courts are not expected to interdict the working of the administrative system when transfers are effected, because, an order of transfer is a part of service conditions of an employee, which should not be interfered with ordinarily by a Court of law in exercise of its discretionary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, unless the Court finds that either the order is mala fide, arbitrary or that the service rules prohibit such transfer, or that the authorities who issued the orders, were not competent to pass the orders.

8. In the present case, it is admitted position that the appellant is going to retire on 30.06.2022 and process of his pension and retirement benefits has been initiated by the department. As the district of posting of the appellant is not going to be changed by the impugned transfer order and both the places are said to be of same division i.e. PWD, Sub Division-3, Raipur, therefore, Clause 1.8 of the transfer policy of the Government may not come in the way of present transfer of the appellant. However, fact remains that only few months have remained for his retirement.

9. Perusal of the transfer order of the appellant dated 15.09.2021 (Annexure A-2), promotion order of respondent No.5 dated 15.09.2021 (Annexure A-3) and Joining letter dated 15.09.2021 (Annexure A-6) show that all these events happened on the same day. Respondent No.5 assumed charge of Sub Divisional Officer, PWD, Abhanpur on the same day in absence of the appellant and in absence of any order relieving the appellant from the post.

10. A perusal of the files relating to transfer goes to show that a request letter was sent to the Minister, Public Works Department, by a political personality to post respondent No.5, who is his nephew, in the post held by the appellant. It appears that the said request letter is delivered in the office of the Chief Minister. Subsequently, the Chie

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f Minister initialed said request letter. Thereafter, the file was processed and resultantly, the transfer order was issued. Thus, in fact situation of present case, it cannot be said that the transfer of appellant was made in public interest and rather, it appears that the same has been issued only to accommodate respondent No. 5. 11. In view of above, the learned Single Judge, in our considered opinion, was not correct in dismissing the writ petition without considering the case projected by the appellant. 12. On due consideration, we set aside the order of the learned Single Judge as well as the transfer order dated 15.09.2021. 13. Writ appeal is allowed. No cost.