State of U.P. and Anr. V. Siya Ram and Anr.

“Unless an order of transfer is shown to be an outcome of mala fide exercise or stated to be in violation of statutory provisions prohibiting any such transfer, the courts or the tribunals normally cannot interfere with such orders as a matter of routine, as though they were the appellate authorities substituting their own decision for that of the employer/management.”

Case Name: State of U.P. and Anr. V. Siya Ram and Anr.

Court: The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India

Bench: Arijit Pasayat & C.K. Thakker

Decided on: 05/08/2004                          

Relevant Act/Sections:

BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

  1. Respondent No.1 was functioning as an Executive Engineer (Mechanical), Irrigation Division-I, Government of U.P., he was transferred from the Tubewell Division-I, Ghazipur to the office of Joint Chief Engineer, Tubewell East, Faizabad.
  2. The respondent filed a writ petition in the Allahabad High Court questioning the order of transfer. The primary stand taken in the writ application was that the order of transfer was as a measure of punishment.
  3. The present appellant-State filed a counter affidavit taking the stand that the transfer of the writ petitioner was on administrative grounds and merely because the writ petitioner was transferred to a non-working post that did not in any way vitiate the order of transfer.
  4. The writ petition was allowed by the impugned judgment dated 5.11.2003 holding that the order of transfer was punitive in nature and had been passed by the State Government without awaiting the decision in the disciplinary proceedings.

ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:

  1. Whether the transfer was in the interest of public service.

RATIO OF THE COURT:

  1. The court referred to the case of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd. v. Shri Bhagwan and Anr. where it was observed that:
  2. No government servant or employee of a public undertaking has any legal right to be posted forever at any one particular place or place of his choice since transfer of a particular employee appointed to the class or category of transferable posts from one place to other is not only an incident, but a condition of service, necessary too in public interest and efficiency in the public administration.
  3. Unless an order of transfer is shown to be an outcome of mala fide exercise or stated to be in violation of statutory provisions prohibiting any such transfer, the courts or the tribunals normally cannot interfere with such orders as a matter of routine, as though they were the appellate authorities substituting their own decision for that of the employer/management.
  4. The court observed that the High Court proceeded on the basis as if the transfer was connected with the departmental proceedings. There was not an iota of material to arrive at the conclusion. No mala fides could be attributed as the order was purely on administrative grounds and in public interest.

DECISION HELD BY THE COURT:

  1. The judgment of the High Court was set aside.
  2. The appeal was allowed to the extent indicated with no order as to costs.

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