Srinagar: On marriage grounds, an employee cannot seek posting at her choicest place, the J&K High court has held. The court remarked that it was the sole choice of government to post their employees based on the smooth functioning of the departments.
The single bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, while dismissing a petition filed by Atiqa Banu, remarked that to direct the authorities to allow the petitioner to continue her duties at present place of posting, was beyond the scope of the jurisdiction of the court “as the same amounts to extension in the period of deployment of the petitioner, which is the sole discretion/ prerogative of the government and its authorities”. “Therefore, the claim of the petitioner is liable to be rejected.”
Justice Magrey said that the deployment of the petitioner Atiqa Banu from district Kupwara to district Budgam was on the ground of her marriage. However, court added, it does not, in any manner confer upon her a legally enforceable right to claim continuation at the place of her deployment.
The court observed that hardship resulting from the husband and wife being posted at different stations may be unavoidable at times, particularly when they belong to different services and one of them cannot be transferred to the place of the other’s posting.
“While choosing the career and a particular service, an employee has to bear in mind this factor and be prepared to face such a hardship if the administrative needs and transfer policy do not permit the posting of both at one place without sacrifice of the requirements of the administration and needs of other employees,” the court remarked.
The court also nullified the challenge of the petitioner thrown to the circular No. 22-GAD of 2018 dated 6th of July, 2018, issued by the General Administration Department, by observing that petitioners plea is “misconceived and misdirected in view of the fact that the instructions issued in the circular aforesaid are aimed at ensuring smooth functioning of the departments”.
Clause (iii) of the circular lays down the scope for a government employee, on attachment, to approach the concerned authorities for seeking redressal of their grievance regarding continuation at a particular place, which can be processed by the Department concerned for approval of the concerned advisor for extension in his/ her period of attachment.
Having a cursory look on preamble of the Circular, Court has held that it is clear that the object of the policy, so formulated by the Government, is none other than administrative exigency and smooth functioning of the Government Departments/ Offices.
The court noted that there may be cases where some of the employees have genuine apprehensions. “It has, time and again, been held by the Apex Court of the country that, whatever be the nature of hardship, the concerned employee should, instead of approaching the courts, go to the competent authority for seeking the redressal of his/ her grievance.”
The court said that instead of challenging the government circular, the advisable course for the petitioner was to approach the concerned department for seeking extension in the period of her deployment. “This Court does not have the jurisdiction to compel the Government to make the transfer of an employee or extend the deployment of an employee in a particular way or at a particular place.”