The three judges bench of the Supreme Court on Saturday disposed the appeal and contempt petition filed against the judgement of the Delhi High Court dated 24.12.2019.The bench consisted of Justice Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah.
The appellant was represented by the learned senior Counsel Shri Sachin Datta and the respondent was represented by the learned Solicitor General Shri Tushar Mehta.
It was submitted that the order of the Delhi High Court dated 02.07.2019 has not been complied by the respondent. It was submitted that the respondents were required to issue order in regard to inter-cadre transfer of the appellant as State of Haryana has given consent for transfer. It was not open for the respondent to ask for consent of the appellant with regard to the Sate of Nagaland, Manipur and Andhra Pradesh for inter-cadre transfer of the appellant. It was further submitted that the inter-cadre transfer in the case of the appellant is on account of the extreme hardship to the appellant. By considering the case of extreme hardship a large number of officers, IAS officer, Central Government has always accommodated at their choice. He submits that letter dated 13.12.2019 was contemptuous and the Delhi High Court ought to have initiated contempt petition which erred in rejecting the same.
It was submitted that under the order of the Delhi High Court dated 02.07.2019 it was the Central Government who was to take decision regarding inter-cadre transfer of the appellant as per the law. If a request on the ground of threat is made the Central Government may initially send the officer on three years deputation of State of its choice. He submits that the choice is of the Central Government where the officer is to be sent from one cadre to another cadre. It was further submitted that no contempt was committed by the respondent in issuing the letter dated 13.12.2019. The appellant cannot be sent to a State of his choice, it is the prerogative of Central Government to take decision in which inter-cadre transfer is to be affected.
- Case name: Dr. Jitendra Gupta v. Dr. Chandramouli, IAS (Secretary, DoP&T, Government of India) with Contempt of Court Petition No. 416 of 2020 (Dr. Jitendra Gupta v. Dr. C. Chandramouli.
- This was Civil Appeal No(s). 3298 of 2020.
After hearing both the sides the Court disposed the appeal and expressed its views:
- Learned Counsel for the appellant submitted the observation made in paragraph 43 of the Delhi High Court judgement that State of Haryana is the home State of the appellant was incorrect and the home State of the appellant is U.P. which cannot be disputed.
- Present case was not a case of any willful disobedience of the direction of the High Court dated 02.07.2019 and the High Court rightly refused to initiate contempt proceedings.
Under the order passed by the Delhi High Court dated 02.07.2019, the appellant’s inter-cadre transfer under Rules 1954 is to be affected by the Central Government. The proceedings of the inter-cadre transfer are awaiting finalization for the last more than two years. There is no doubt that it is the Central Government which is authority competent to transfer the appellant from one cadre to another. The appellant cannot insist that he should be transferred to the State of Haryana. However, a liberty has been granted to the appellant to make a fresh representation to the Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India in reference to letter dated 13.12.2019 within two weeks from today with regard to his inter-cadre transfer in light of judgement of Delhi High Court dated 02.07.2019. It shall be open for the appellant to give his consent/willingness with regard to any other state.