The heads of departments in the state government are not automatically empowered to transfer employees.
The Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) has held that the heads of departments can transfer employees only if they are notified under the Maharashtra Transfers Act, 2005.
“The [concerned] provisions clearly mandates that every administrative department shall for the purpose of transfers Act, publish a list of heads of departments and notify the authorities competent to make transfers within their jurisdiction,” said RB Budhiraja, vice-chairman of the tribunal.
With the observation, the tribunal set aside transfer of Anil Pulekar, sales tax inspector from Thane. On May 30, 2009, the then Sales Tax Commissioner had transferred him to Gadchiroli allegedly because of being an office bearer of employees union in Sales Tax department.
His counsel Arvind Bandiwadekar had told the tribunal that though the sales tax commissioner is the head of the department, no notification as required under the Maharashtra Transfers Act was issued authorising him to transfer employees working under his jurisdiction. Presenting officer MB Kadam had said no separate notification was required to empower sales tax commissioner to transfer inspectors.
He had also said the then principal secretary, finance department — the next higher authority as required by the Maharashtra Transfers Act — had granted approval for transferring Pulekar to Gadchiroli.
Budhiraja discarded the contention saying it was necessary for department to issue a notification and in absence of a notification such transfers could not be upheld.
Many departments have not issued appropriate notifications even after five years the legislation was brought into force.