Place of posting of Wife and Husband cannot be same throughout their career, says High Court

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The Uttarakhand high court, while refusing to stay the transfer order of a PWD employee, observed that “the place of posting of spouses cannot be at the same location throughout their career”.

A High Court division bench observed this while hearing a petition by Nirmala Singh, an administrative officer in PWD, who had been posted in Dehradun for the last 30 years, on April 10. Deputy advocate general KN Joshi informed the court that Nirmala Singh was transferred to Bageshwar on February 14 but she refused to join. She resisted the order at the state scheduled caste commission, which stayed her transfer.

Expressing displeasure, the High Court cautioned the SC commission “not to pass orders” without having the jurisdiction to do so.

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The court observed that she had served in “accessible areas” continuously for the last 30 years on the basis of her husband also being a government servant working in Dehradun.

Her counsel Hari Mohan Bhatia argued that the transfer was decided without placing her case before the transfer committee, “as is required under the Public Servants Act”. To this, the court said according to the Act, employees’ participation during the enquiry is not necessary, “since transfer is an incident of service.” It added that an inquiry would delay the transfer process, defeating its purpose.

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