ANUP CHAKRABORTY AND OTHERS Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Anup Chakraborty And Others
UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS
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AJIT SINGH,C.J. -
(1.) The three petitioners are Loco Pilots/Engine Drivers under the N.F. Railways. They belonged to the Rangia Division and were posted at New Bongaigaon. On 23.02.2016, they were transferred out from Rangia Division to Badarpur under Lumding Division. This order was assailed before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Guwahati Bench in O.A. No. 040/00059/2016, which was dismissed on merits. Hence the present writ petition.
(2.) We have heard Mr. P.K. Tiwari, learned Senior Counsel representing the petitioners, assisted by Mr. A.R. Gogoi, Advocate, as well as Mr. H.K. Das, learned counsel representing the respondent Railways.
(3.) Primary challenge to the transfer Order dated 23.02.2016 is on the premise that the same had been issued in lieu of punishment. Justification made is that in November, 2015 as many as 91 Loco Pilots of Rangia Division, including the three petitioners herein, had made complaints against the Senior Sectional Engineer i.e. respondent No. 5 before the Divisional Railway Manager (Personnel) i.e. respondent No. 3, with copy to the Senior DME., Rangia Division. The said complaint made against the Controlling Officer and brought to the notice of the higher authorities, according to the petitioners, was not taken in good stead and wrath fell on the petitioners as the complaint had been made allegedly at their initiative. On 8th January, 2016 the Senior DME. had instructed the respondent No. 2 to transfer 5 Loco Pilots, including the three petitioners herein, from New Bongaigaon under the Rangia Division to Badarpur under Lumding Division. Thereafter, on 19th February, 2016, an Office Order was issued on behalf of the respondent No. 2 in this regard and the consequential order of transfer was eventually issued on 23rd February, 2016. Facts admitted are that the petitioners are active trade union members who had incurred the ire of the respondent authorities in course of their union activities, aggravated further by the complaint so made against the Controlling Officer. Thus, the impugned transfer order, according to the petitioners, had been issued in lieu of a punishment, although the same, at first blush, does not partake the character of being punitive in nature.;
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