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CAT dismisses plea of visually-impaired IAS officer against transfer

June 04, 2020 05:42 AM


CAT dismisses plea of visually-impaired IAS officer against transfer


The Chandigarh bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Wednesday dismissed a petition moved by Haryana’s first 100% visually-impaired IAS officer Ravi Prakash Gupta, who had challenged his transfer as director general, Swarna Jayanti Haryana Institute of Fiscal Management, from the post of Fatehabad deputy commissioner, citing lack of merit in his plea.

A CAT bench, comprising judicial member Sanjeev Kaushik and administrative member Ajanta Dayalan, dismissed the petition, observing that the court cannot interfere in a transfer order unless it is shown that the same has been passed in violation of statutory rules and is tainted with mala fide intention.

The order reads, “To tackle the problem arising out of Covid-19 pandemic, a conscious decision was taken to transfer certain DCs/DMs and in that process, the applicant was transferred... Action of the respondents does not indicate any kind of mala fide intention or punitive in nature.”

Gupta had challenged the order, claiming it to be in violation of the Cadre Rules, as it had been passed before completion of two years in the office and the state of Haryana had not given any reasons for passing the impugned order.

The bench said, “During the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown undergoing in the country, the issue of transfer should be left to the discretion of competent authorities, as it is for them to consider as to who should be posted at which assignment and it is not the job of the courts or tribunals to sit in appeal over the wisdom of the administrative functionaries, who are in better hold of the factual position on the field.”

In its reply, Haryana had stated that the Union government had on March 24 imposed the lockdown in the country and asked the state governments to take effective steps to check the spread of pandemic. In this context, the role of DCs/DMs was considered to be crucial and accordingly, after discussions, the department of personnel thought it fit to transfer some incumbents of such posts from their districts. It was submitted that the impugned order had been passed in consonance with Cadre Rules, on the recommendations of the Civil Services Board (CSB).


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