Here are two contrasting cases as regards the Punjab government's uneven policy of transferring officers, with elections due next year.
IAS top-ranker Adappa Karthik, who opted for the Punjab cadre despite being from Andhra Pradesh, has been transferred seven times since he was first posted as sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) a year ago.
The other extreme example is that of MS Jaggi, who was zonal commissioner in Ludhiana. In October he was transferred to Moga on an Election Commission of India (ECI) directive. But he managed to come back after two days and to the same office. In December he was made Ludhiana municipal commissioner.
While some officers are being shifted around, others continue to remain in the same office for close to three years in violation of the ECI guideline that government functionaries staying long in a position should be moved out when elections are approaching.
Punjab chief electoral officer Kusumjit Sidhu said: "We have given instructions ... If the needful is not done within (a week), we will take action."
Karthik is serving as secretary, technical education. He was first posted as SDM in Faridkot district last year before being shifted to Bhatinda district. Since then, he has undergone six more transfers. Punjab chief secretary SC Agrawal refused to comment on the matter.
"The main cause of the shuffling before the completion of tenure is officials' non-compliance with the wishes of their political bosses," said a retired IAS officer based in Ludhiana.
Harkamaljit Singh, attached with the additional deputy commissioner (development) office in Ludhiana, is holding the office for four years.
Similarly, Surinderpal Singh (Pehlwan), executive engineer, Mandi Board, who is said to be close to CM Prakash Singh Badal, is looking after four districts: Ludhiana, Moga,Bhatinda and Mansa. He has been in Ludhiana for five years, but there is no word on his transfer.