Untimely Transfer would undoubtedly cause unrest, umbrage

The Kerala High Court on 11 July, 2011 in Madhu Vs. Director General of Police, 2011 (3) KLJ 750 : ILR 2011 (3) Ker. 723 : 2011 (3) KHC 462 held that “untimely transfers would undoubtedly cause unrest, umbrage and above all, unbounded difficulties and inconveniences to service personnel.

Justice C.T. Ravikumar observed that “at times, the transferring authorities use the power of transfer as a weapon to wield at erring employees in lieu of initiation of disciplinary proceedings and sometimes, it is used to accommodate favourites”.

# Untimely Transfer

“Recognizing recurrence of such profane exercise of transfer-power and with a view to eliminate the element of arbitrariness in its exercise and to have a uniform policy as far as possible Government have formulated norms and framed guidelines to be followed by transferring authorities in the matter of transfer. General transfer, transfer on public or administrative grounds, punishment transfer and request transfer are various known forms of transfer. Courts cannot adopt nonchalance when circumstances call for such interference and at times, may also have to lift the veil to see its real nature,” the judgment said.

While disposing the writ petition the Court held that that such transfer on administrative or public grounds, as and when inevitable, can be effected in such a manner, protecting the best interests of the administration after proper application of mind to the attending circumstances and certainly, in such a manner averting casting stigma on the transferees. At any rate, an enmasse transfer is to be avoided.

# Facts of the Case

Police personnel belonging to Grades of Assistant Sub Inspectors (GASIs), Senior Civil Police Officers (Sr.CPOs) and Civil Police Officers (CPOs) were transferred on administrative ground to different stations. Transfer orders issued on administrative ground are under challenge.

12 Police Officers belonging to the cadres of Senior Women Civil Police Officers (Sr.WCPOs) and Women Civil Police Officers (WCPOs) are placed under orders of transfer to different police stations.

270 Police officers belonging to different cadres viz., GASIs, Sr.CPOs and CPOs were transferred to different stations or wings.

Evidently, Police officers belonging to different ranks such as GASIs, Sr.CPOs, CPOs, Sr.WCPOs and WCPOs were transferred enmasse by the impugned transfer orders.

There can be no doubt with respect to the position of law that a reason which is conspicuously absent in an impugned order cannot be supplemented by way of an affidavit. The said orders did not partake the character of punishment transfers or transfers on request.

The Court considered the norms issued by the respondents in the matter of transfer and also the relevant provisions under the Kerala Police Act, 2011 to see whether they satisfy the salient features of a general transfer.

Advocates Babu S. Nair, K. Gopalakrishna Kurupu, Sr., Sivan Madathil, K.S. Binu, V.S. Kochani appeared for the petitioner and Government Pleader Sandesh Raja for respondents.