Decided on August 24,2005

L.Patnaik Appellant


SUNIL KUMAR SINHA,J. - (1.) The petitioner, who is posted as Assistant Manager, in United India Insurance Company Limited, Raipur since 26-12-2003 has challenged the validity of his transfer order dated 16-6-2005, whereby he has been transferred from Divisional Office, Raipur to Regional Office, Lucknow.
(2.) The facts stated are that the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted a raid on 6-4-2005 in the Divisional Office, Raipur and Branch Office Bilaspur including the residences of Dr. B.R. Singh, Divisional Manager, Raipur and Shri CJ. Arora, Branch Manager, Bilaspur. On the date of raid, Shri B.R. Singh was on leave and the petitioner was available in the office as Senior Most Officer. The petitioner submitted all the information and documents/files to the CBI team as per their requirement and for all these reasons he became a witness of the search proceedings of CBI for their Case No. RC 2(A)/ 2005/CBI/JBP registered under Sections 120B and 420, IPC and Section 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against Shri B.R. Singh, being accused No. 2 and Mr. CJ. Arora, Branch Manager, Bilaspur being accused No. 1. During the search, print and electronic media persons were also accompanying the CBI team and the entire episode of raid was covered by them. The media persons took interview of the petitioner and the petitioner stated about the registration of Criminal Case against the Divisional Manager, Raipur as well as Branch Manager, Bilaspur before them. It is after all this, a show cause notice was issued to the petitioner on 8-4-2005(Annexure P-6) levelling charges against him that due to his statements etc., the market image of the company was undermined. The petitioner submitted his reply on 11-4-2005(Annexure P-7) but even after that, he was served with a charge-sheet dated 21-4-2005 vide Annexure P-8 initiating a departmental enquiry against him, which is still pending after taking his reply on 19-5-2005. It is after all this, the petitioner and both the officers from Divisional Office, Raipur and Branch Office, Bilaspur, were transferred by a common transfer order dated 16-6-2005. The case of the petitioner is that the above series of events clearly reveals and reflects the vindictive attitude and malafide of respondents No. 2 to 5 to harass the petitioner through a conspiracy by passing the order of transfer so that the facts of corruption against respondent No. 5 can not be revealed properly and the investigation of CBI, can be diluted.
(3.) In return, the respondents have contended that the transfer is not a punishment. It is in the realm of administrative discretion of the employer. No claim or proceeding can be filed challenging the impugned transfer order unless malafides have been convincingly/successfully attributed, or violation of some statutory rule is displayed in the petition, which having not been done, the petition can not succeed. They have further contended that the issuance of a show-cause notice/charge-sheet resulting into initiation of a disciplinary proceedings will not amount to malafides and on this ground also the petitioner can not claim the quashing of his transfer order.;

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