P&H HC | Transfer adjustments bonafide when Govt. taking step to curtail unproductive expenditure and utilize idle staff

Punjab and Haryana High Court: Rajan Gupta, J. dismissed the petition on the ground that order taken by the State Government cannot interfere when measures are required for the effective and efficient functioning of the department.

A writ in the nature of certiorari was filed to quash the order of transfer.

Abhilaksh Grover, counsel for the petitioner submits that he was appointed as the SDO Electrical in PWD, Punjab. That after the issue of notice of motion against the promotion of the Superintending Engineer, the petitioner was transferred many times even though the transfer was rendered infructuous and thereafter the increment was also stopped.  It was further submitted that department took the decision to revamp and in the view of that the petitioner transferred to the newly carved out post of Executive Engineer, Chandigarh. Executive Engineer (Mechanical), Ferozepur was transferred to Electrical Division, Ludhiana, where petitioner was posted. This action was arbitrary as it resulted in the transfer of the petitioner to the post of Executive Engineer (Technical), in the office of Chief Engineer (Electrical), Chandigarh. According to him, this exercise was undertaken with malafide intention to dislodge the petitioner. Hence preferred this application.

Ishneet Kaur, counsel for the Respondent submitted that the conduct of the petitioner was not good. A news item showed that he had alleged to misbehave with the officials present at the Circuit House. The disciplinary action was also said to be taken against the petitioner. A charge sheet had been issued to him which was also pending against the petitioner. It was further submitted that decision was taken for adjustment/transfer of technical staff of Electrical and Mechanical Wings in such a manner as to ensure smooth functioning of both the wings. The proposal was made due to objections of AG (Audit) regarding wasteful expenditure on establishment of Mechanical Circle.

The Court thus opined that transfer of the petitioner has been made in the normal course. “The State Government is always at liberty to resort to such measures to streamline the functioning of its various wings to curtail unproductive expenditure and utilize services of idle staff. Such measures are required for efficient and effective functioning of the department.” Thus, it was concluded that the transfer of the petitioner appeared to be part of the exercise undertaken by the Government. The Court also held that the no ground for interference in the impugned order passed by the competent authority is made out as entire facts and circumstances shows that the petitioner was a professional litigant as he raises a grouse by way of a writ petition every time he is sought to be transferred and thus the petition was dismissed.[Jatinder Singh Chhina v. State of Punjab, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 851, decided on 06-06-2019]

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