Decided on December 11,1990

State Of West Bengal And Others Appellant
Amrita Lal Singha Roy Respondents


- (1.)This appeal, by the State of West Bengal, arises out of and is directed against the order dated 21st March, 1988 of the Division Bench of the High Court of Calcutta, which in reversal of the order of the learned Single Judge, allowed the writ-petition of the Respondent, who was a Sub-Inspector of Police in the State of West Bengal, and quashed his order of transfer.
(2.)The Respondent who was a Sub-Inspector of Police working at Hooghly District Enforcement Branch (in the Aram Bagh Zone) was transferred out of the District by the order dated 18.6.1987. Respondent challenged the transfer in the writ-petition before the High Court. A learned Single Judge of the High Court by his order dated 11.8.1987 dismissed the writ petition. In the appeal preferred by the Respondent, the Division Bench rejected his contention that the transfer was mala fide and for extra administrative reasons. However, the Division Bench was persuaded to the view that the transfer having been made within seven years of 3rd May, 1982, the date of Respondent's posting at Aram Bagh was not shown to have been justified by compelling and unavoidable administrative exigencies. The Division Bench also upheld Respondent's contention that the transfer having come about at the instance of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) and not on the initiative of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Burdwan Range, was rendered infirm.
(3.)We have heard Sri Tapas Ray, learned senior counsel for the appellants and Sri M.K. Ramamurthi, learned senior counsel for the respondent-officer. On a consideration of the matter we are of the view that the controversy, having regard to the passage of time, does not survive inasmuch as, at all events, even the possible inhibition of seven years period referred to by the High Court ceases to operate. It is unnecessary either to go into the other controversy whether the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) could have initiated steps for the transfer of the Respondent. Suffice it to say that the High Court took the view it did as, according to it, no material was placed before it to show that the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) was in "over-all charge" or was otherwise competent to effect the transfer. The question whether that officer would or would not be competent to initiate steps for transfer would itself, in turn, depend-upon the nature and incidents of the administrative set up and vesting of administrative authority in him in the matter. That again is unnecessary to be gone into here.

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