UNION OF INDIA Vs. ANTHONY IAWPHNIAW
LAWS(MEGH)-2020-3-5
HIGH COURT OF MEGHALAYA
Decided on March 02,2020

UNION OF INDIA Appellant
VERSUS
Anthony Iawphniaw Respondents

JUDGEMENT

MOHAMMAD RAFIQ,CJ. - (1.) This writ petition has been filed by Union of India through the Secretary of Revenue, Government of India, Department of Revenue, North Block, New Delhi and the Chief Commissioner, Goods and Service Tax and Customs, Guwahati Zone, Guwahati challenging the judgment of the Central Administrative Tribunal, Guwahati Bench, Guwahati (for short 'the Tribunal') dated 24.01.2020. Vide the aforesaid judgment, the Tribunal allowed the Original Application filed by the respondent and set aside the order dated 14.08.2019 whereby, he was transferred from Shillong to Itanagar.
(2.) The case set up by the respondent before the Tribunal in the Original Application was that he is presently working as Superintendent of Customs, posted under jurisdiction of the North Eastern Region Customs Preventive Commissionerate in the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Customs, Shillong Division at Shillong. The North Eastern Region of Customs and CGST is headed by the Chief Commissioner, Guwahati comprising of eight Commissionerates including one at Itanagar and Shillong. The Chief Commissioner has the power and authority to transfer the subordinate officers including thereof cadre of Group B gazetted officers, from one Commissionerate to another, following the transparent transfer policy, formulated and practiced over the years in the official web page of the Department. The said policy is contained in the New Transfer Policy dated 05.03.2015 and the Old Transfer Policy dated 18.12.2007. The Transfer Policy dated 05.03.2015 in para 4 provides for exercise transfer to be completed by 31st October every year and issuing posting order by the 15th December every year. It was contended that transfer of 94 Superintendents could have been issued only in the beginning of the year as per the Transfer Policy and not in the middle of the year. Unlike any other Zone in India, due to peculiarity of the North Eastern Region, which comprises seven different states, transfer in this Zone always deserves special consideration. The impugned order of transfer has been issued in clear breach of the declared Transfer Policy and is mala fide. The respondent also submitted that he was nearly 58 years old and as per circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), an officer due for superannuation deserves special consideration in the matter of transfer and should not to be transferred to an odd place. Transfer of the respondent in the middle of the year from Shillong to a faraway place like Itanagar, has caused serious setback as the respondent is ailing from grave eye problem and his whole body is afflicted by a serious skin condition known as psoriasis and also that his father is about 90 years old. The respondent submitted representation to the Chief Commissioner to retain him at Shillong either in Customs Preventive Commissionerate in Shillong CGST Commissionerate.
(3.) The Department contested the Original Application filed by the respondent by contending that transfer has been made in the administrative exigencies of service in the routine, along with 93 other officers and further that date of birth of the respondent being 30.05.1962, his age is 57 years 8 months. Therefore, DoPT guidelines that officers with 2 years or less service from superannuation should be given their desired place of posting, is not attracted to the present case.;


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