In what could well be music to the ears of government employees, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that employees on the verge of retirement should not be transferred merely because they have been posted at a particular place for a long period.
While maintaining that transfer was the prerogative of administrative authorities and government servants could not claim to serve at the same station forever as a matter of right, the CAT said such a benefit should be extended to superannuating employees, to retire peacefully at a particular place after years of service.
"... It would enable a person about to retire to make arrangements for settling down with his family," the tribunal said.
However, the CAT made it clear that for other employees, the general rule of transfer policy would continue to apply.
"...Transfer is an incidence of service and ordinarily, the court would not interfere because no one can expect to continue at the same station forever," the Tribunal stressed.
The order came on a petition filed by three officers of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, challenging their transfer from Delhi to Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad respectively, with immediate effect.
"Merely because the applicants have a long stay and the transfer order could not be implemented so far, would not constitute sufficient reason," CAT member N D Dayal said.
The Department had contended that it was completely in consonance with the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), according to which those on sensitive posts could not be allowed to occupy them endlessly.
But CAT said officers on the verge of retirement should be treated more humanely, so as to avoid inconvenience to them.