Snehal Upadhyay-

Published on: September 13, 2021 at 11:51 IST

Himachal Pradesh High Court again sets aside a transfer that was made on the recommendations of a BJP leader.

The Division Bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Satyen Vaidya while quashing the transfer of a senior assistant stated that a transfer could not be used as a source to destroy or choke the voice of dissent.

“Voice of dissent cannot be silenced by administrative arbitrariness. However, we need to clarify that no freedom can be absolute. As freedom walks with its head held high, a shadow of responsibility follows it. Responsibility is the epiderm within which freedom stays free and secured and secured for all. The Court said that constitutional responsibility belongs to this variety and exists as an invisible layer, a membrane, between the right to free speech and the reasonable restrictions that may operate on it. Remove the responsibility from all, it will be chaos,” said the Court.

The petitioner reached the High Court challenging his transfer. The petitioner stated that his transfer had nothing to do with the administrative exigency nor in the public interest, but had been stimulated based on a “DO Note” issued by someone, who had no concern with the administration and the governance of the Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board Limited.

The Court stated that the transfer made in the aforementioned case was made solely on a political consideration that too of a person who had nothing to do with the administration or functioning of the respondent’s department.

The Court expressed its disappointment by stating that “Courts were reluctant to interfere in the transfer orders since this was an ordinary incidence of service, yet this court had repeatedly held that transfers and postings should be effected only by the administrative departments.”

It further stated, “We follow the British system of non-political bureaucracy; so, it is for the bureaucrats and not the politicians, to do transfers and postings.”

Order: https://highcourt.hp.gov.in/viewojpdf/view.php?path=2021&fname=200100025732021_3.pdf&smflag=N

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