Rashid Paul

Transfers, postings of employees is Govt’s prerogative: HC

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Srinagar, May 02: “Judiciary shall refrain from interfering in the administrative matters of the government by directing the executive authorities to transfer, post or place its officials and officers at a particular place or post,” the J&K High Court observed today while disposing off a case of a doctor seeking promotion in the Health and Medical Education department.

Dismissing the writ petition titled Firdous Ahmad Bhat versus State, Justice A M Magrey, said “it is for the government to see as to at what place/post a particular government official/officer is best suited, as per requirement and suitability.”

The bench observed “time and again, it has been observed by various courts of the country, including the apex court, that the judiciary shall refrain from interfering in the administrative matters of the government by directing the executive authorities to transfer/post/place the government officials/officers at a particular place/post.”

The petitioner had challenged a government order of March 2019, whereby he was transferred as in-charge Block Medical Officer (BMO, Sogam) and posted as Medical Officer, Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Langate.

The High Court disposed off the petition on March 08, 2019, saying “the services of the petitioner are governed by the J&K Health and Family Welfare (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules, 2006, wherein it is provided that the post of BMO is to be filled up by the senior-most Assistant Surgeon having 10 years experience.”

It added that transfer/posting of a government employee is an exigency of service and is the sole prerogative of the executive.

Ordinarily, the courts are not interfering with the policy of the government directing posting/transfers of the government employees, but in exceptional cases, where the transfer/posting is made by an incompetent authority or is against the rules or is a result of malafides, the courts do interfere, said the order.

“No such ground is available to the present petitioner,” it said.

It asked the petitioner to approach the authorities concerned for seeking redressal of his grievances about the transfer, posting or promotion and advised the respondent authorities to decide the matter on the basis of rules and law.

The grouse of the petitioner, as projected in the current petition is that notwithstanding the pendency of the representation of the petitioner before the competent authority, the respondents are ignoring the merit and suitability of the petitioner in granting regular promotion as Block Medical Officer in his favor as they are in the process of depriving the petitioner from performing his duties as BMO Kalaroos.

Meanwhile the Additional Advocate General informed the court that the petitioner doctor has violated the process of the court as after the passing of the judgment of 8th of March, 2019 he also filed a civil suit in a sessions court which was dismissed with costs.

Reverting back to the facts of the current case, the High Court today said “merely because the petitioner has been asked to hold the additional charge of BMO, Kalaroos, in terms of order dated 21st of June, 2018 by the Director General Health Services, Kashmir, does not confer any right on the petitioner.”

In the event, such a submission is acceded to and relief granted, same will amount usurping the powers of the government. The respondents are well within their rights and authority to see as to whether or not the petitioner is to be allowed to continue to perform the duties of BMO Kalaroos, it said and dismissed the petition.

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