Shimla, Sept 8
In a landmark verdict Himachal Pradesh High Court set aside the transfer order of school head teacher on the recommendation of BJP MLA Vinod Kumar maintained that politicians could don the role of an administrator. Passing orders on Sep 6 copy of which issued to media on Wednesday division bench of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Satyen Vaidya set aside a political transfer.
HC ruled that transfer of petitioner were recommended on the basis of DO (Demi-Officio) note of BJP MLA from Nachan Vinod Kumar and was vetted and approved by the chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.
In the case, there was no independent decision taken by the administrative head and rather there was no scope left. The members of the Legislative Assembly or the minister had the right to make recommendations but these cannot be taken to be the final word.
The underlying principle for transfer is public interest or administrative exigency which is conspicuously absent in the present case. The politicians cannot start interfering in the administration or the working of the executive as it is they (administrative heads) who are the best judges to decide how the department will function and which employee should be transferred.
The court further stated that the administrative officials can always send back a proposal showing why the same could not be accepted and before ordering any transfer, their views must be ascertained.
As the order of transfer cannot withstand judicial scrutiny as the petitioner Babu Ram, head teacher at Government Primary School Ghiri of Sundernagar in Mandi district has not been transferred on account of administrative exigency and/or public interest.
“Despite the law on transfers being well settled, yet we find the same is being violated with impunity either by the political executive or by the administrative authority,” the court ruled while setting aside the transfer order.
The division bench has further stated the court of late, more especially after the closure of the HP Administrative Tribunal, is flooded with the petitions challenging transfer orders, thereby unnecessarily clogging its docket.
The BJP MLA from Nachan Vinod Kumar in a DO note on Mar 25 ,2021 recommended transfer of 10 persons including the petitioners which was later vetted by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.