SRINAGAR: Transfer of an employee is the prerogative of the employer but should not be based on mala-fides and outside class, category and cadre, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has said even as it set aside an order by Central Administrative Tribunal.
The matter pertained to the transfer of a Junior Assistant in the office of Assistant Director Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs to the Sales Center Zainapora as a storekeeper, the post not commensurating to his status and as per his entitlement being different in class, category and cadre.
“We are conscious of the legal position that transfer is an exigency of service and it is the prerogative of the employer to see at what place the service of an employee can best be utilized in the larger public interest. An employee holding transferable post has no right to insist that he should be allowed to serve at a particular place for a particular period,” a division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Vinod Chatterji Koul said as per news agency GNS. “However, the order of transfer should not be based on mala-fides and has to be in the interest of administration having been issued within the class and cadre to which the employee sought to be transferred belongs.”
The court said that the post of Junior Assistant belongs to a ministerial cadre and the post of storekeeper belongs to a different category, therefore, by the transfer order which was under challenge before the CAT has the effect of changing the cadre of the petitioner and the concerned departmental officials had no such authority.
“The same could be done by the Government by adhering to the applicable rules. In this view of the matter, the petitioner rightly claims his continuation as Junior Assistant within his class, category and cadre. The transfer order, being bad in law, deserves to be interfered with,” the court said and set-aside the transfer order.