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C. Gopal v/s The Director General, National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi & Another

    Original Application No. 180/1024 of 2014
    Decided On, 09 October 2015
    At, Central Administrative Tribunal Ernakulam Bench
    For the Applicant: Vinod Vallikappan, Advocate. For the Respondents: N. Anilkumar, Sr.PCGC(R).

Judgment Text
U. Sarathchandran, Judicial Member.

1. Applicant has approached this Tribunal being aggrieved by Annexure A-7 communication of the respondents, rejecting his request for transfer from the Kannur campus of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) to NIFT Chennai campus.

2. While applicant was working as Assistant at NIFT, Chennai he was selected as Research Assistant on contract basis vide Annexure A-1 order and was posted at Bangalore. He was transferred and posted at Kannur vide Annexure A-2 order, on his request. While working as Research Assistant in the Kannur Campus of NIFT he was arrested by the CBI Corruption Branch on 23.01.2012. He was released on bail on 30.01.2012. The respondents have decided not to renew his contract as Research Assistant beyond his term of contract which ended on 28.10.2012. He was reverted to the regular post of Assistant and was kept under suspension with effect from 29.10.2012 vide Annexure A-3 communication. His suspension was revoked on 12.02.2013 vide Annexure A-4. According to the applicant he is entitled to be re-posted at his original posting as Assistant in the Chennai campus. He approached this Tribunal with O.A 192/14 praying for a direction to post him at Chennai campus. The Original Application was disposed of by this Tribunal vide Annexure A-5 order permitting the applicant to make a representation. Accordingly he lodged Annexure A-6 representation. By Annexure A/7 respondents informed that his request for transfer to NIFT Chennai Campus cannot be considered due to administrative reasons. Hence, he prays for:

'(a) Call for the records leading to Annexure A-7 and set aside the same and direct the respondents to repost the applicant to his original station at Chennai.

(b) Award the costs incidental to this petition

(c) Pass such other orders or directions as deemed fit and proper by this Hon'ble Tribunal to the facts and circumstances of the case.'

3. Respondents filed reply statement contending that applicant was retained at Kannur Campus on account of the acute shortage of manpower and in view of the expanding activities of the Institute. According to them staff in each centre of NIFT are working beyond their normal duty hours to meet the functional requirements and hence the applicant was retained at Kannur owing to administrative reasons. Respondents pray for rejecting the Original Application.

4. Heard Mr.Vinod Vallikappan, learned counsel for applicant and Mr.Sinu G Nath representing Mr.N.Anil Kumar, Sr.PCGC(R), learned counsel for respondents. Perused the record.

5. During the pendency of the Original Application, respondents filed an affidavit. Along with the affidavit they produced some more documents to show that the applicant's initial appointment as Assistant in February 2008 was regularised in December 2008 vide Annexure R-3 order. They have also produced the original appointment order of applicant as Assistant at Chennai Campus on contract basis. The said post was regularised by Annexure R-3 order. Respondents contend that NIFT has 15 campuses spread all over India and that the applicant is liable to be posted to any one of such centres.

6. When the applicant approached this Tribunal with Original Application No.192/14 this Tribunal permitted him to submit Annexure A-6 representation for considering his request for posting at Chennai. In Annexure A-6 the applicant had detailed the history of his employment including the criminal case registered by the CBCID. It is also stated therein that a departmental enquiry is going on at Kannur and that he undertakes that he will not claim any travel expense for attending the domestic enquiry at Kannur, in the event of his being transferred to Chennai. It is also stated in Annexure A-6 that his aged parents are living in Chennai and that his father is very sick due to a fall which has affected his eye sight. Even after stating his need for a transfer to Chennai, respondents rejected the request of the applicant stating that he cannot be transferred due to administrative reasons.

7. Even though the pleadings of the respondents look sphinx like with an inscruitable face without divulging the actual reason for not transferring him to Chennai. They state only two plausible reasons i.e., administrative grounds and shortage of manpower. It is also seen from the pleadings that applicant is facing a departmental enquiry at Kannur which has reached its final stage.

8. It is settled law that transfer is an incidence of service and that the employee is likely to be transferred if the exigencies of service demand such transfer. Courts/tribunals will interfere if the order of transfer is with malafides, for extraneous considerations, by an incompetent authority or is in violation of rules.

9. The only ground the applicant points out is that after his contract period as Research Assistant has come to an end, he is entitled to go back to the original place of posting from where he was selected for the post of Research Assistant. Respondents have produced Annexure R-2 and R-3 copies of the orders appointing the applicant as Assistant on contract basis for three years initially and thereafter regularising his post as Assistant. In both these documents it has been clearly stated that the post is transferable. Therefore, the respondents cannot be found fault with if they decided to reta

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in the applicant at the lower post of Assistant at Kannur itself even after his contract period as Research Assistant has come to an end. In the instant case, nothing was brought before this Tribunal to show that the decision in Annexure A-7 communication was vitiated by any of the aforesaid grounds. This Tribunal could not see any element of arbitrariness or malafide action on the part of the respondents while rejecting the request of the applicant. 10. In the above circumstances, the Original Application is only to be dismissed. The Original Application is dismissed. No order as to costs.