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On AIS officers' inter cadre transfer, TMC admin get another judicial blow

By IndianMandarins- 15 Sep 2021
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New Delhi (15.09.2021): The TMC-ruled West Bengal administration has landed itself in a legal embarrassment and extreme loss of social reputation, if it has any, by denying a lady IAS officer of the 2013 batch her legal and fundamental right to be with her husband.

Even though the lady officer had filed for inter cadre transfer to Uttarkhand five years ago on April 5, 2016, Uttarakhand as she had married an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of the 2012 batch of Uttarakhand Cadre on November 26, 2015, the TMC administration sat on her application for five long years, justifying its apathy and absolute lack of empathy on the ground of shortage of IAS officers in the state.

Sensing the ethically, morally, legally, and administratively wrong stand of the TMC administration, the Delhi High Court has come to concur with a Central Administrative Tribunal direction and order to the West Bengal government to "pass necessary orders" on the IAS officer's transfer request within six weeks. "In case the applicant is not relieved by that time, she shall be deemed to have been relieved on expiry of six weeks," the Tribunal had ordered and the Delhi High Court has concurred.

 The HC concurrence came while hearing a petition of the West Bengal government against the CAT order on relieving the young lady officer.

A Delhi High Court bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh, while questioning the West Bengal government over its handling of the requests of the All India Service (AIS) officer's request for an inter-cadre transfer, observed that the state government has failed to place the relevant material on record even though it argued that the rejection of the officer's request was on the ground of shortage of AIS officers in the state.

This approach has been taken, in the matter after matter, by the petitioner (West Bengal government) where an officer(s) have sought inter-cadre transfer to other State(s) on account of their marriage.

And it dismissed the petition of the state government.

It is relevant to ask here why the TMC administration has been so rigid and inflexible in relieving its officers for inter cadre transfer. The answer lies in its 'forever hostility' against the central government. Senior officers say that for CM Mamata Banerjee, her politics matter more, no matter what it costs officers in terms of their conjugal life and their career. 

Readers may recognize the fact that the most sensible way for the TMC administration was to comply with the lady officer's request in light of the prevailing rules in this regard. But, no, the state government compelled the lady officer to go to the CAT, even though it was clear that, since the Uttrakhand government and the central DoPT has cleared her application, there was no case for rejecting her application, which the TMC administration did on November 30, 2016.

In view of the arbitrary and arrogant attitude displayed by some state governments to deny the natural rights of AIS officers, it is time a law was enacted to penalize such governments for their highly offensive and unethical conduct.

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