The Madras High Court ruled that employees in government service cannot claim transfer as a matter of right.
The petitioner was initially appointed as Junior Assistant and thereafter, she was promoted to the post of P.G.Assistant and posted in Avvaiyar Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Pavoorchatram, Tenkasi District. The writ petition is filed questioning the validity of Clause-2(a)(3) of G.O.(Ms) No.176, School Education, issued by the first respondent and to direct the respondents to permit the petitioner to take part in the transfer counseling or any other subsequent dates by placing her under the priority spouse quota.
Advocate Pon Ramkumar.T., contended that the earlier counseling policy was issued by the Government in 2017. Thereafter, the present counseling policy for general transfer for teachers was issued by the Government. Clause 2(a)(3) of the Government Order, deals with categories exempted from the condition of minimum one year of service in the present station.
He reiterated that the one year norm has not been contemplated in the Government Order and exemption from the condition of minimum one year service in the present station is also given in respect of certain categories.
He argued that the petitioner is eligible to participate in the counseling. Therefore, she may be permitted to participate in the transfer counseling.
The single judge bench of Justice S.M.Subramaniam stated that transfer itself is an incidental to service, more so, a condition of service. Transfer can never be claimed as a matter of right by the Government employees. Transfers are issued on administrative grounds.
The court said that it is the prerogative of the public administration to transfer the employee in the public interest and to ensure efficient and effective administration. The counseling policy introduced by the Government is a concession extended to the Government employees.
The court while disposing of the petition held that the eligibility of the petitioner is to be ascertained by the Authorities competent, while finalizing the list of candidates, who are all eligible to participate in the counseling.
Case title: M.Kachu Fathima v/s The Government of Tamil Nadu and Ors.
Citation: W.P.(MD) No.2233 of 2022 and W.M.P.(MD) Nos.1943 & 1944 of 2022