L. Narasimha Reddy, Chairman, (J).
1. The applicant is working in the Silchar Division of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) since 1993, in various capacities. As of now, he is Telecom Technician. Through an order dated 03.12.2018, he was transferred to SDE (Group), Haflong and through an order dated 20.12.2018, he was relieved. This O.A. is filed challenging the order of transfer as well as the release order.
2. The applicant contends that the BSNL framed a policy way back in the year 2007 and according to it, the employees of BSNL, working in the N.E. States, are exempted from being posted in N.C. Hills area, if they have crossed 55 years of age. He submits that by the time he received the order of transfer, he crossed the age of 55 years.
3. Another contention of the applicant is that there are several employees, who have a longer standing at Silchar than him, and less than 55 years of age, but they have not been chosen to transfer, and accordingly, the transfer order is patently illegal and arbitrary.
4. The respondents filed written statement and opposed the O.A. According to them, the applicant, has longer standing at Silchar, and was below 55 years of age, by the time the order of transfer was passed. It is stated that the policy was kept in view and several aspects relating to it, were meticulously verified before the order of transfer was passed.
5. We heard Mr. M.C. Chanda with Ms. U. Dutta, learned counsel for applicant and Mr. R. Thadani, learned counsel for BSNL. There is no representation on behalf of other respondents.
6. The applicant is working in the BSNL for the past more than two and half decades, in different capacities. It is not in dispute that he is working in Silchar Division since 1993. The BSNL framed a policy in the year 2007 and one of the items specifically dealt with, was the transfer to staff to N.C. Hills area. The two categories of employees are exempted from being posted from those places, i.e., (i) lady employees and (ii) the employees, who have crossed 55 years of age. The order of transfer in the case of the applicant was passed on 03.12.2018. His date of birth is 31.12.1963. His age is below 55 years, maybe by thin margin of one month, as on the date of transfer. The fact that it was approved at a later point of time or it was served to him consequently, does not make much difference.
7. The second contention raised by the applicant is that there are several employees with longer standing than him, at Silchar. The respondents dealt with this very contention in paragraph 9 of the written statement. They categorically stated that t a list of employees, depending upon their standing at Silchar, was prepared and while the applicant figured at Sl.No.70, the two other employees, by name, Nihar Kanta Deb and Apu Kumar Roy, mentioned by the applicant herein, figured at Sl. Nos. 75 and 158 respectively. Though the applicant filed rejoinder, he did not dispute this fact. Therefore, even from this point of view, the order transferring the applicant cannot be found fault with.
8. At the same time, we are of the view that the normal tenure of two years on transfer to Haflong must be restricted to one year, in the case of the applicant since he has crossed 55 years of age.
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r />9. We, therefore, dispose of the O.A.: a) upholding the order of transfer; but b) restricting the period of working of the applicant at Haflong to one year from the date of assumption of charge The applicant is granted fifteen days to report duty. The interim order is vacated. There shall be no order as to costs.