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Rita Devi and Ors Vs. Health - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtJharkhand High Court
Decided On
AppellantRita Devi and Ors
RespondentHealth
Excerpt:
.....toli, sarhul nagar, bariatu, po&ps­bariatu, district­ranchi 3.   arunanand   jha,   son   of   late   balanand   jha,   resident   of  jhausagarhi, baijnathpur, behind refugee colony, po&ps­kunda,  district­deoghar  ...   ...  petitioners versus 1.the state of jharkhand through its chief secretary,  government of jharkhand, jharkhand mantralaya, project  bhawan, po&ps­dhurwa, district­ranchi 2. the principal secretary, department of health, medical  education & family welfare, government of jharkhand,  jharkhand mantralaya, nepal house, po&ps­doranda,       district­ranchi 3. the joint secretary, department of health, medical education .....
Judgment:

1 IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI W.P.(S) No. 4293 of 2016 1.   Sunil   Prasad,   son   of   Late   Rameshwar   Prasad,   resident   of  Radha Krishna Niwas, Pandit Sundar Lal Mishra Road, Casters  Town, PO&PS­Deoghar, District­Deoghar 2. Sukri Kumari, wife of Sikandar Baraik, resident of New Tonki  Toli, Sarhul Nagar, Bariatu, PO&PS­Bariatu, District­Ranchi 3.   Arunanand   Jha,   son   of   Late   Balanand   Jha,   resident   of  Jhausagarhi, Baijnathpur, behind Refugee Colony, PO&PS­Kunda,  District­Deoghar  ...   ...  Petitioners Versus 1.The State of Jharkhand through its Chief Secretary,  Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Project  Bhawan, PO&PS­Dhurwa, District­Ranchi 2. The Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Medical  Education & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand,  Jharkhand Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda,       District­Ranchi 3. The Joint Secretary, Department of Health, Medical Education  & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, Ranchi 4. Director­in­Chief, Department of Health, Medical Education &  Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, District­Ranchi           ... ... Respondents with  W.P.(S) No. 4297 of 2016 1. Rita Devi, wife of Late Suresh Prasad, resident of C/o­ Dr. P.  Ram, DSP Road, Murli Bagicha, PO&PS­Gumla, District­Gumla 2. Jai Prakash Narayan Singh, son of Nilkanth Singh, resident of  Flat   No.   101,   Radha   Rani   Apartment,   Cheshire   Home   Road,  Dipatoli, PO­Bariatu, District­Ranchi 3.   Abhishek   Kumar   Sinha,   son   of   Late   Subodh   Kumar   Sinha,  resident   of   village­Mandai   Kalan,   PO­Sudhar   Vidhyalaya,  PS­Sadar, District­Hazaribag  ...   ...  Petitioners Versus 1.The State of Jharkhand through its Chief Secretary,  Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Project  Bhawan, PO&PS­Dhurwa, District­Ranchi 2. The Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Medical  Education & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand,  Jharkhand Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda,       District­Ranchi 3. The Joint Secretary, Department of Health, Medical Education  & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, Ranchi 2 4. Director­in­Chief, Department of Health, Medical Education &  Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, District­Ranchi                ... ... Respondents with W.P.(S) No. 4327 of 2016 1.   Shailendra   Kumar   Rana,   son   of   Late   Yogendra   Nath   Rana,  resident of Patel Nagar, PO­Harmu, PS­Argora, District­Ranchi 2. Rajesh Kumar Mallick, son of Late Baldev Mallick, resident of  Shankar   Nagar,   Brahm   Toli,   near   Don   Bosco,   PO&PS­Bariatu,  District­Ranchi  ...   ...  Petitioners Versus 1.The State of Jharkhand through its Chief Secretary,  Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Project  Bhawan, PO&PS­Dhurwa, District­Ranchi 2. The Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Medical  Education & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand,  Jharkhand Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda,       District­Ranchi 3. The Joint Secretary, Department of Health, Medical Education  & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, Ranchi 4. Director­in­Chief, Department of Health, Medical Education &  Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, District­Ranchi           ... ... Respondents with W.P.(S) No. 4404 of 2016 1.   Dhananjay   Kumar,   son   of   late   Sudama   Prasad,   resident   of  PMCH,   Dhanbad,   PO­BCCL   Township,   PS­Saraidhela,  District­Dhanbad 2. Kumar Amit, son of Late Dr. Virendra Kumar Singh, resident of  Karnibad, PO­Deoghar, PO­Deoghar, District­Deoghar  ...   ...  Petitioners Versus 1.The State of Jharkhand through its Chief Secretary,  Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Project  Bhawan, PO&PS­Dhurwa, District­Ranchi 2. The Principal Secretary, Department of Health, Medical  Education & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand,  Jharkhand Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda,       District­Ranchi 3. The Joint Secretary, Department of Health, Medical Education  & Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, Ranchi 4. Director­in­Chief, Department of Health, Medical Education &  Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand  3 Mantralaya, Nepal House, PO&PS­Doranda, District­Ranchi     ... ... Respondents ----------------- CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SHREE CHANDRASHEKHAR For the Petitioner(s)  : Mr. Indrajit Sinha, Advocate Mr. Arpan Mishra, Advocate For the State       :  Mr. Jai Prakash, AAG          Mrs. Chaitali C. Sinha, J.C. to AAG Ms. Shruti Shrestha, J.C. to AG ------------------------------ 06/27.10.2016 Heard. 2.  Mr. Indrajit Sinha, the learned counsel appearing for  the petitioners in all four writ petitions submits that the issue  involved in all the writ petitions is common and the petitioners  have raised similar grounds for challenging order contained in  memo dated 01.08.2016, whereby the earlier orders of transfer  have   been   recalled   by   the   Director­in­Chief,   Department   of  Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare, Government of  Jharkhand. 3.  The learned counsel for the petitioners raises two fold  contentions ; (i) Once an order of transfer has been given effect  to,   nothing   remains   there   for   recall   and   in   that   view   of   the  matter   order   dated   01.08.2016   recalling   the   earlier   transfer  orders is bad in law. The learned counsel relies on the decision in  “Ram Prasad Mahto and Ors. vs. the State of Jharkhand and Ors.”  reported in 2003 (1) JLJR 427 (Jhr.) for this proposition. (ii) The  plea   taken   by   the   respondent­State   that   the   Director­in­Chief,  Department   of   Health,  Medical   Education   and  Family   Welfare,  Government   of   Jharkhand   is   not   competent   and   had   no  jurisdiction  to  issue orders of transfer, whereby the petitioners  were transferred is contrary to decision of this Court rendered in  “Dilip Kumar Rabidas vs. the State of Jharkhand and others [W.P. (S) No. 3337 of 2014]” whereunder the learned Single Judge of  this Court has held that in terms of para 3 and 4 of the circular  dated   21.01.1992   issued   by   the   Director­in­Chief,   Health  4 Department, who is the appointing authority in the matters of  Junior and Senior Selection Grade posts of clerk, is competent to  issue orders of transfer. Copy of order dated 15.09.2014 passed  in W.P.(S) No. 3337 of 2014 has been produced as Annexure­R­2  at page­16 with the rejoinder to the counter­affidavit.

4. Shri   Jai   Prakash,   the   learned   Additional  Advocate­General appears on behalf of the respondent­State and  submits   that   the   fundamental   defect   in   the   orders   dated  20.10.2014,   28.06.2014   and   11.05.2015,   which   was   detected  subsequently by the department is that, the orders of transfer by  the erstwhile Director­in­Chief were issued without approval of  the   Secretary   of   the   Department.   It   is   contended   that   by   the  impugned order dated 01.08.2016 whereunder the earlier orders  of   transfer   have   been   cancelled/recalled,   the   petitioners   now  have been posted to the place where they were previously posted  which, in turn, would amount to fresh order of transfer which  can   be   challenged   only   on   the   grounds   of   arbitrariness   and  mala­fide or on the ground that it has been issued in breach of  statutory rules.   It is further contended that no one can claim  posting to a particular place or on a particular post and transfers  are  effected  in  administrative exigencies and the courts would  not interfere with the decision of the executives. 5.  Before   adverting   the   rival   contentions,   it   would   be  appropriate to notice the facts narrated in W.P.(S) No. 4293 of  2016, which is the lead case. There are three petitioners in this  writ petition.  The petitioner no. 1 was appointed on 28.02.1980  on the post of Assistant/Clerk, the petitioner no. 2 on 10.11.1980  as ANM and the petitioner no. 3 on 19.08.1987 on the post of  Projectionist Assistant; all in the Department of Health, Medical  Education and Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand.  In the  writ petition, the contentions raised on behalf of the petitioners,  at   the   time   of   hearing,   have   not   been   pleaded.   In   the  counter­affidavit,   the   respondents   have   taken   a   specific   stand  5 that   orders   dated   29.06.2015,   31.12.2014,   20.10.2014   and  28.06.2014   were   issued   by   the   then   Director­in­Chief   without  approval of the Departmental Head. Not only that, a perusal of  the previous orders; some of the orders have been annexed by  the petitioners to their rejoinder affidavit, when compared with  the above­mentioned orders, would disclose that transfer orders  can be passed by the Director­in­Chief on the recommendation of  the Establishment Committee; reference thereof finds mention in  order   dated   28.06.2013   at   page­51   of   the   rejoinder   affidavit.  However, some of the above­mentioned orders passed in relation  to the petitioners were passed without recommendation of the  Establishment   Committee.   Previous   transfer   orders   for   the  petitioners   were   issued   mid­year   and   those   were   not   issued  during   annual   general   transfer   exercise.   It   appears   that  complaints were received in the department and the matter was  examined and a proposal for cancelling the previous orders was  placed before the Secretary of the Department who was holding  the post of Additional Chief Secretary, and he accorded sanction  for   recalling   the   aforesaid   orders.   In   compliance   thereof,   the  impugned order dated 01.08.2016 has been passed.

6. The   decision   in  “Ram  Prasad   Mahto”  case   does   not  lend support to the plea raised by the petitioners in as much as,  in the said case after the order of transfer through notification  dated 17.05.2001 was issued, subsequently by notification dated  01.06.2001   para­2   of   the   previous   notification   was  recalled/cancelled. In  the  facts of the  case, the learned Single  Judge   held   that   after   the   order   under   notification   had   taken  place and the notification of transfer had spent its force, there  was nothing substantive to be recalled. The present is not a case  similar   on   facts   to   the   case   of   “Ram   Prasad   Mahto”.   In   the  present   case,   transfers   were   ordered   mostly   on   the  representation of the petitioners and in some cases allegedly on  humanitarian grounds. As noticed above, the previous transfer  6 orders were issued without approval of the Department. In these  facts,   I   find   no   illegality   in   recalling/cancelling   the   previous  transfer orders. 7.  Now referring to the decision in W.P.(S) No. 3337 of  2014, I find that in the said order the learned Single Judge held  that   the   Director­in­Chief,   being   the   appointing   authority,   is  conferred with power to effect transfer of the Junior and Senior  Selection   Grade   Clerks.   Order   dated   15.09.2014   passed   in  W.P.(S) No. 3337 of 2014 is confined to the aforesaid aspect only.  In the instant writ petitions, the petitioners have not averred that  they are Junior or Senior Selection Grade Clerks.  Even ignoring  the above aspect, I find that the plea taken in the instant writ  proceeding   by   the   respondent­State,   that   the   department   is  competent   to   annul/cancel   order   of   transfer,   was   not   a   plea  adjudicated   in   that   writ   petition.     Impugned   order   dated  01.08.2016 has  been issued on the approval of the Additional  Chief   Secretary,   Department  of  Health,  Medical  Education  and  Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand. As rightly contended  by   the   Additional   Advocate­General,   the   petitioners   have   no  vested legal right to claim transfer at a particular place or to a  particular   post.   In   these   facts,   I   am   of   the   opinion   that   the  department   is  competent   to annul/recall  any  order  of  transfer  issued by the Director­in­Chief.

8. No   doubt,   in   the   counter­affidavit   the  respondent­State has disputed the competence and jurisdiction of  the   Director­in­Chief   to  transfer   the  petitioners   who   belong   to  district   cadre,   and   the   said   plea,   prima­facie,   appears  unsustainable, however, that would not lend support to the case  of   the   petitioners   which   fails   scrutiny   on   the   settled   legal  principles. In “State of U.P. and others vs. Gobardhan Lal” reported  in (2004) 11 SCC 402, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has observed  that,   “a   challenge   to   an   order   of   transfer   should   normally   be  eschewed.........”. It has been held that transfer is prerogative of  7 the   authorities   concerned   and   the   Court   should   not   normally  interfere therewith, except when (i) transfer order is vitiated by  mala­fide, or (ii) issued in violation of statutory provision, or (iii)  has been passed by an authority who was not competent to pass  such   an   order.     In   “Kendriya   Vidyalay   Sangathan   vs.   Damodar   Prasad Panday and others”  reported in  (2004) 12 SCC 299,  the  Hon'ble Supreme Court has observed thus; 4. “Transfer which is an incidence of service is not to be   interfered with by courts unless it is shown to be clearly   arbitrary   or   visited   by   mala   fide   or   infraction   of   any   prescribed norms of principles governing the transfer (see   Abani Kanta Ray v. State of Orissa [1995 Supp (4) SCC   169]. Unless the order of transfer is visited by mala fide   or is made in violation of operative guidelines, the court   cannot interfere with it (see Union of India v. S.L. Abbas   [(1993) 4 SCC 357]). Who should be transferred and   posted where is a matter for the administrative authority   to decide. Unless the order of transfer is vitiated by mala   fides or is made in violation of any operative guidelines   or rules the courts should not ordinarily interfere with it.   In Union of India v. Janardhan Debanath [(2004) 4 SCC   245] it was observed as follows:  'No government servant or employee of a public   undertaking   has   any   legal   right   to   be   posted   forever at any one particular place or place of his   choice   since   transfer   of   a   particular   employee   appointed to the class or category of transferable   posts from one place to another is not only an   incident, but a condition of service, necessary too   in   public   interest   and   efficiency   in   the   public   administration.   Unless   an   order   of   transfer   is   shown to be an outcome of mala fide exercise or   stated to be in violation of statutory provisions   prohibiting any such transfer, the courts or the   tribunals   normally   cannot   interfere   with   such   orders   as   a   matter   of   routine,   as   though   they   were the appellate authorities substituting their   own   decision   for   that   of   the   8 employer/management,   as   against   such   orders   passed in the interest of administrative exigencies   of   the   service   concerned.   This   position   was   highlighted   by   this   Court   in   National   Hydroelectric   Power   Corpn.   Ltd.   v.   Shri   Bhagwan[(2001) 8 SCC 574]'.”

9. Impugned   order   dated   01.08.2016   is   an   order   by  which   previous   transfer   orders   dated   29.06.2015,   31.12.2014,  20.10.2014 and 28.06.2014 have been cancelled, which in effect  turns out to be an order of transfer, whereby petitioners stand  transferred to their previous place of posting or to another post  upon prior approval of Director­in­Chief, Department of Health.  The petitioners have failed to establish that the impugned order  of   transfer   dated   01.08.2016   has   been   issued   in   breach   of  statutory provisions or it is actuated with malice in law or facts.

10. Considering the aforesaid facts, I am not inclined to  interfere   in   the   matter   and   accordingly,   the   writ   petitions   are  dismissed.    (Shree Chandrashekhar, J.) Tanuj/­


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