The Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the district and sessions judges of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh not to dissuade government employees from applying elsewhere for better career avenues.
The high court order came on a bunch of petitions challenging orders of some sessions judges, whereby such requests from lower court employees were rejected.
Employees wanting to opt for a new government job have to route their applications through their employer department.
The high court bench of justice RN Raina said declining such a request was akin to “human bondage” that the law did not permit. “Public employment rights are guaranteed in part-3 of the Constitution and the freedoms enjoyed therein by citizens to promote their career, the right to change one’s job and to be relieved in accordance with rules is fundamental in character. This leash (rejecting applications) placed on the petitioner’s neck will violate the petitioner’s basic human rights and at least the court cannot be seen approving such an order...,” the high court bench said, setting aside the orders wherein pleas of stenographers, who wanted to apply for a job elsewhere, had been rejected.
The primary plea taken in rejecting the applications was “in the interest of administration of justice and on account of shortage of manpower”. However, the court said the order of administration could be well intended but it abrogated the rights of petitioner to make his career elsewhere according to his wish and potential.
The court also did not accept another plea that there were instructions of the high court regarding sending officials on deputation or transferring them to other departments and that if such requests were entertained, it would be difficult to retain employees and if somebody wanted to go, he or she could tender resignation. The court said that petitioners were not seeking transfer or deputation.