Dated this the 16th day of March, 2012
C O R A M
HON'BLE MRS. K. NOORJEHAN, ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBER K.Muraleedharan, S/o Govinda Kurup, Sr.TOA(P)
Emp No.2881011 (HR No.197503880, O/o AGM
(Cable Planning), Telephone Bhavan, Palayam,
Kozhikode673002, R/o No.26/2747A, Ambadi
Manathalathazham, Kommeri, Kozhikode-673007.
By Advocate M/s Dandapani Associates
1 The General Manager (HR&Admnn), Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, O/o the Chief General Manager(Telecom) Kerala Telecom Circle, Trivandrum - 695033.
2 The General Manager, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Calicut SSA, 673001.
3 The Sub Divisional Officer, Telecom
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Kalpetta.
By Advocate Mr. Pradeep Krishna.
The Application having been heard on 6.3.2012 the Tribunal delivered the following:
O R D E R
HON'BLE Mrs. K. NOORJEHAN, ADMINISTRATIVE MEMBER The applicant, a Sr TOA(P) in Planning Section, Office of the Principal General Manager, BSNL, Calicut is challenging Annx. A-1 order by which he was transferred to SDOT, Kalpetta in violation of the Transfer policy. 2 The applicant while working as Sr TOA(P) in Planning Section, Office of the Principal General Manager, BSNL, Palayam, Calicut has been transferred to office of the SDOT, Kalpetta by Annexure A-1 order dated 6.7.2009. He states that as per the transfer policy guidelines issued by the respondents the cut off date for computing Circle/SSA/Station/Post tenure would be 31st March, of that particular financial year. In the case of applicant it is a tenure transfer to Wayanad Region for a period of two years. Further it stipulates that generally transfer of employees who are more than 55 years of age as on 31st March of that financial year would be avoided for posting to tenure stations and that employees of 56 years or more shall normally be exempted from transfers. Since the applicant has crossed 55 years on 31.7.2009, he should be exempted from such transfers. He further averred that he is a heart patient, he was admitted in a Hospital at Calicut and advised to take rest for 6 weeks. Again he was admitted in Hospital on 27.7.2009. Due to physical ailment he requested the respondents to exempt him from transfer vide representation dated 29.6.2009. By another representation dated 29.8.2009 he requested the respondents to review the case of his transfer and accommodate him at the present place of posting to which he was advised to join the new place posting after recovery of his ailment and submit a request for temporary transfer. Accordingly he joined duty at Kalpetta on 30.10.2009. Thereafter he was temporarily transferred to Calicut for a period of six months. Before expiry of 6 months he represented to the respondents narrating his ailment and inability to move out from Calicut on 17.5.2010. He further stated that his wife is a School Teacher who is suffering from chronic Psoriasis and his son is pursuing studies at Calicut. The competent authority has turned down his request for extension of temporary transfer by order dated 9.7.2010. Therefore he has filed this OA challenging Annxs.A10 and A1 orders of the respondents.
3 The respondents filed reply statement stating that the applicntl was transferred on administrative grounds. They admitted that normally transfers shall be effected preferably during March/April. However, the guidelines itself contemplate that transfer orders can be issued at anytime of the year in the interest of service. It is further submitted that the transfer to Wayanad district was ordered to mitigate the grave sufferings of the employees working in that area for years together who submitted representations for transfer to various stations in Kozhikode SSA and are expecting their transfer. They submitted that a list of 25 Sr.TOAs of age below 55 years as on 31.3.2009 was drawn and published in the notice board on 21.4.2009 and transfer order issued on 6.7.2009. Considering his age, etc, he was posted at Kalpetta SDOT office which is the nearest place from Calicut. Considering his health he was advised to join new station after recovery of his illness thereafter his request for temporary transfer to Kozhikode for six months was granted. They averred that one Sr.TOA and 5 TMs who are completing the age of 55 years as on 31.3.2009 were included in the transfer list alongwith the applicant and all of them have joined their respective units.
4 I have heard learned counsel appearing for the parties and perused the documents.
5 The main contentions of the applicant is that the transfer order was issued after completion of the age of 55 years i.e on 6.7.2009 which is in contravention of the transfer policy. On the contrary the contention of the respondents is that the transfers were ordered in the year 2009 in respect of 25 Sr.TOAs below the age of 55 years as on 31.3.2009 and among them were 5 Tms who completed 55 years as on 31.3.2009. Moreover those who completed their tenure at Kalpetta were eligible for transfer back to Calicut.
6 A perusal of the transfer policy of the BSNL would show that the transfer shall not be purely based on tenure as prescribed in the transfer policy. It shall also be based on competencies and skills required to execute the work or to provide an opportunity to employees to develop competencies as per job rotation requirement. Transfers involving change in the station/SSA/Circle shall be effected in such a way that orders are issued preferably during the month of March/April. However, in the interest of service, transfer orders can be issued at any time of the year. 7 I find that the transfer order in respect of the applicant was issued within the guidelines of the transfer policy and there is no violation in it. 8 In a catena of judgments the Apex Court has categorically stated that it is the prerogative of the Government/department to decide who is to be posted to a particular place in the overall interest of the organisation. The employee has no right to choose a particular post or place for his posting. Therefore, I do not find any fault with the impugned transfer order.
9 It is true that the transfer order was issued on 6.7.2009 to meet the manpower requirements in the office of the SDOT Kalpetta and to bring back those officials to Calicut who have completed the prescribed tenure at Kalpetta which is treated as a hard station. However fact remains that in the transfer guidelines, exemption is given on medical grounds. In this case the applicant is a heart patient who may need the physical and emotional support of the family to tend him, rush him to a doctor etc. Under such conditions living alone is a little tough. Moreover, DoPT has reiterated its instructions, which is mandatory in nature, in September 2009, to post husband and wife together. So applicant deserves consideration on medical and spouse grounds.
10 When the Application came up for admission on 12.11.2010, the Tribunal while admitting the O.A, extended the temporary transfer of the applicant to enable him to continue at Calicut until further orders. On the strength of the interim order the applicant is continuing at Calicut. 11 In that view of the matter, the interest of justice will be met if the O.A is disposed of with the direction to the respondents to consider and dispose of his representation dated 17.5.2010 sympathetically keeping in view his health condition and family background as early as possible, at any rate within 4 weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order. The interim order dated 12.11.2010 will be in force, till his representation is replied to. The OA is disposed of as above. No costs. Dated March 2012