Shimla, November 24
Transfer cannot be used as a tool to harass an employee. This was held by the HP High Court while quashing a transfer order issued on the recommendation of a state Cabinet minister.
Justice Ajay Mohan Goel said, “Where an employee is to be posted is the prerogative of the employer. However, this prerogative has to be exercised in a prudent and rationale manner by the employer.”
He said, “On the asking of a minister, who happens to be a member of the State Legislative Assembly from Dharampur, Mandi, the petitioner has been transferred. Why the transfer of the petitioner was requested is beyond the comprehension of the court. More so, when the state electricity board, of which the petitioner is an employee, was not with the minister concerned.
Besides, the transfer order has been passed by the electricity board without any independent application of mind, simply on the basis of a communication received from the office of the CM, the HC said.
It said, “The transfer order has been passed by the board in an arbitrary manner and the same is a result of colourable exercise of power and not on account of administrative exigency or in public interest.”
The court passed this order last week on a petition filed by an employee of the State Electricity Board challenging the order issued on June 7, 2021, whereby he has been transferred to the office of Senior Executive Engineer, Electricity Division, HPSEBL, Dharampur, from the office of the Superintending Engineer (Design), Electrical System HPSEBL, Hamirpur.
It was alleged that he has been transferred on the basis of the recommendatory note issued by a Cabinet minister which demonstrated that the transfer order is not on account of administrative exigency.
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