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HC stays IAS officer's sudden transfer

By IndianMandarins- 16 Mar 2019


The Kerala High Court has tied the hands of politicians versus civil servants. On Friday, it stayed the order to repatriate IAS officer Raju Narayana Swamy from the post of chairman of Coconut Development Board to his parent cadre that was the Government of Kerala.


This stay order has set a new judicial precedent and constrains the political leadership to follow rules while transferring officials.


The court issued the interim order on Swamy's petition challenging the government decision to transfer him all of a sudden in breach of terms of his appointment. Advocate Suresh Menon T C, counsel for the petitioner, said he was appointed the chairman of the board on deputation on July 17, 2018, for a period of one year and he assumed charge on August 8, 2018.


He was entitled to continue at least up to August 7, 2019, even though the government was empowered to cut short the period of appointment in exceptional cases. However, he was repatriated all of a sudden to his parent cadre.


As per the amendment to the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, a cadre officer appointed to any cadre post shall hold office for at least two years unless in the meantime he has been promoted or retired or sent on deputation outside the state or training exceeding two months.


Besides, an office could be transferred before the minimum period only on the recommendation of a committee on minimum tenure or civil service board.


According to Swamy's counsel, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) was yet to pass an order on his petition challenging the decision to shift him from the chairmanship.

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