The Union Home Ministry has warned of disciplinary action “without any further reference” against six DANICS officers, working with the Delhi Government, if they fail to join the Lakshadweep Administration “immediately”.
The fresh order came on May 20, immediately after the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) bench headed by chairperson Manjula Das ruled that there was “no merit” in the applications of the six DANICS officers challenging the decision of the ministry to transfer them to Lakshadweep.
The officials Sandeep Kumar Mishra, Sravan Bagaria, Shailendra Singh Parihar, Singare Ramchandra Mahadev, Nitin Kumar Jindal and Rakesh Kumar have been asked to immediately report to the Union Territory (UT) administration. They were initially served the transfer order in November last year, after which the officers moved the CAT.
They were again served with a reminder in February to join their new posting but that too was ignored as the matter was pending before the CAT.
However, after a 23-page order of the CAT on May 20, the ministry issued “stand relieving” orders to the officers directing them “to immediately report to the UT of Lakshadweep.
It asked them to forward a copy of their joining report, failing which it warned that ”disciplinary action as per rules will be initiated without any further reference.” During the hearing at the CAT, Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banarjee drew the attention of the bench to a clause in the transfer policy of DANICS.
The clause states that “notwithstanding anything contained in the policy, Ministry of Home Affairs has the absolute right, if necessary, to transfer or post any officer to any constituent at any time on administrative grounds/in public interest.” The ministry stated that “there is an imperative need for disposal of these matters (vacating the stay on transfers) as larger public interests necessitate the joining the officials to the outlying segments”.
The CAT Principal bench, in its order, said, “It is the settled proposition of law that a government servant cannot disobey the transfer order by not reporting at the place of posting and then go to the court to ventilate his grievances.” “It is his duty to first report for work where he is transferred and to make a representation subsequently as to what may be his personal problems, which has admittedly not been done in the instant case.” The Principal bench also said that no government servant has any legal right to be posted at any particular place since the transfer of an employee appointed to the class or category of transferable posts from one place to another is not only an incident but a condition of service, “necessary too in public interest and efficiency in the public administration”.
The tendency of not reporting at the place of posting and indulging in litigation has been seriously viewed by the Supreme Court also, the order said while drawing the attention to various judgements from the Supreme Court.
The CAT also rejected the plea of the applicants that no reason was being given for the transfer and said, “We are of the view that it is not necessary to give the reason in the transfer order itself”.
The Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Island Civil Service (DANICS) provides officers to administer the civil administration of the Union Territory segments in Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
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