BIMAL CHANDRA DAS Vs. UNION OF INDIA AND 3 ORS
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
BIMAL CHANDRA DAS
Union Of India And 3 Ors
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Suman Shyam, J. -
(1.) Heard Mr. K. N. Choudhury, learned senior counsel assisted by Mr. R.M. Deka, learned counsel appearing for the writ petitioner. I have also heard Mr. B. Sarma, learned Standing Counsel, N.F. Railway, appearing for the respondents.
(2.) The writ petitioner herein is employed as an Inspector in the Railway Protection Force and is presently posted at the Railway Headquarter at Maligaon. He was earlier elected as the General Secretary of the All India Railway Protection Force Association (in short AIRPFA), N.F. Railway, which is a recognized Trade Union under the Indian Railways. While the petitioner was serving as Inspector and posted in the Armourer, Maligaon Headquarter, the respondent no. 4 i.e. the Staff Officer to the Principal Chief Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force, N.F. Railway, Maligaon, Guwahati, had issued order dated 25/05/2018 transferring the petitioner from Maligaon Headquarter and posted him as Divisional Inspector/KIR under Katihar Division on administrative ground.
Thereafter, by the order dated 28/05/2018, the petitioner was released from his duty so as to enable him to join at his new place of posting at Katihar. The aforesaid transfer order dated 25/05/2018 has been assailed by the petitioner by filing the instant writ petition, primarily on the following grounds:-
Firstly, the petitioner being an Office Bearer of the AIRPFA, he was entitled to certain protection in the matter of transfer. According to the petitioner, the procedure laid down by the notification dated 10/07/2009 issued by the Railway Board requiring the authorities to communicate to the concerned Union as regards the proposal for transfer has been violated in this case. Secondly, the petitioner claims that the transfer order is in violation of Directive No. 32 (revised) notified by the Railway Board on 28/12/2017, which mandates that the transfer of an employee is required to be carried out on or before 31st March. The petitioner contends that his two daughters are studying in Class VII and V and are in mid academic session and, therefore, if he is compelled to join at Katihar, the academic career of his daughters will be hampered. Thirdly, the petitioner has also contended that the transfer of an office bearer against whom a disciplinary proceeding is pending, could not have been made by ignoring the provision of the Rules and without the approval of the Director General of the Force and to such extent, the respondent no. 4 was not competent to issue the impugned order. The petitioner has also alleged malafide against the respondents on account of the fact that the order of transfer has been issued in violation of the standing circulars of the Railway Board and before completion of his normal tenure of posting in the present place.
(3.) The respondent nos. 2, 3 and 4 have filed joint affidavit inter-alia stating that the writ petitioner has spent 20 years out of 22 years of his service in Assam and he has been serving in his present place of posting at Maligaon Headquarter, which is within 1.5 KM radius from his permanent residence at Kamakhya Gate, Guwahati-9 since last 8 (eight) years. Therefore, this is not a case of frequent transfer. It is also the contention of the respondents that the petitioner was elected as the General Secretary of the AIRPFA in the month of March, 2014 for a period of 3 years and on the expiry of his term in office, the petitioner is no longer entitled to any protection on the ground of his being the office bearer of the Association. The respondents have also categorically averred that the order of transfer has been issued in public interest and with due approval of the respondent no. 3 i.e. the Director General, Railway Protection Force.;
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