-Report Himanshi Chauhan
The recent judgement of P.V. Satheesan v. UOI & Ors deals with the question that whether a person can get absorbed in the department to which he had gone on deputation. Herein, the original application of the person was rejected by the Tribunal. Therefore, a writ petition was filed in the Delhi High Court challenging the order passed by the Tribunal.
The petitioner was appointed as LDC in General Reserve Engineering Force (‘GREF’ in short). He was selected as LDC on a deputation basis in CBI on September 13, 2002. He initially worked in Chennai. In 2004, he applied for permanent absorption in CBI. Subsequently, on May 3, 2005, he was transferred to Delhi. CBI required a NOC for the petitioner’s permanent absorption in CBI. According to the petitioner, on March 24, 2005, GRPF/ parent department issued NOC for his absorption. But even after submitting NOC, CBI did not absorb deputationist as LDC/ SCS in CBI.
Thereafter, CBI requested for further extension of the petitioner’s deputation in CBI but the GREF did not accede to the same request. Accordingly, the Head Office of CBI vides Fax directed SP, CBI, AC-II to repatriate the petitioner to his parent department by March 26, 2006.
Therefore, the petitioner approached the Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench, New Delhi. However, the original application of the petitioner was dismissed by the Tribunal stating that a person underlying deputation has no right to continue for long on deputation or get absorbed in the department to which he had gone on the department.
The petitioner, therefore, aggrieved by the order of the Tribunal moves to the Delhi High Court.
➢ The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner joined the CBI on December 10, 2002, on a deputation basis and subsequently, as requested by the CBI, the GREF gave NOC for the absorption of the petitioner. However, after receiving NOC, the CBI denied the permanent absorption of the petitioner.
➢ The learned counsel further submits that the petitioner has served CBI for more than 20 years and in fact, he is superannuating on April 30, 2023.
➢ Furthermore, during his service in CBI, his work has been appreciated by the CBI by conferring “CBI Day Award”, “ATI UTKRISHT SEWA PATAK, 2016” and Commendation Certificates in 2006, 2015, 2016 & 2017.
➢ The learned counsel further submits that in the given background, if the petitioner is compelled to be repatriated then his entire family would be put to irreparable loss and injury.
➢ The learned counsel further states that it would be inequitable for the respondents to repatriate the petitioner to GREF, at this point, when the petitioner is on the verge of retirement after putting in more than 20 years of service which is more than his tenure in GREF.
➢ The learned counsel for the respondent (CBI) submitted that the petitioner cannot claim absorption as a matter of right when CBI has already decided not to absorb deputation’s LDC/ SCS.
➢ He also submitted that, since 2005, no absorption of deputations LDC/ SCS has been effected.
➢ The learned counsel further relied upon the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Kunal Nanda v. UOI & Anr., (2000) 5 SCC 362, in this case, the petitioner, who had come on deputation from CRPF, sought his absorption in CBI. This request was rejected and he was repatriated. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court. The learned counsel, therefore, contends that similar should be the outcome in this case as well.
The Delhi High Court observes that the petitioner has worked for 12 years in GREF as against 20 years of service in the CBI. Therefore, the court held that it is inequitable to deny the absorption of the petitioner in CBI. Insofar as the judgement of Kunal Nanda is concerned, the same shall not be applicable to the facts of this case, as the CBI (in that case) has rejected the prayer of the petitioner for absorption in CBI on the ground of unreliability. But in the present case, there is no issue of integrity raised by the CBI against the petitioner herein.
Thereby, the High Court opined that the petitioner should be absorbed in the CBI from the date when NOC was given by the GREF with all the consequential benefits that would flow pursuant to his absorption in CBI from that date. Accordingly, the Hon’ble High Court set aside the impugned order passed by the Tribunal.
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