KAS Officers Can Be Transferred To Any Post: High Court

Srinagar: The High Court, in a landmark judgment, said that the KAS officers can be transferred to any post borne on the cadre to another cadre of the service, as it constitute backbone of bureaucracy of the State.

Justice Sanjeev Kumar while dismissing the writ petition of one Shafkat Ali and other associate (Jr KAS) challenging their transfers, said the Junior KAS officers, as the petitioners are, must note and understand that they are the members of premier service of the State which virtually constitutes backbone of bureaucracy enjoined the task of running the administration at different levels.

Court said they have no cause to approach the Court unless their transfer and posting affects their status or violates statutory provisions. “For all these reasons, I could not find a single ground taken by the petitioners which vitiates the order impugned. They must note that they are cadre officer and they can be transferred and posted to any post borne on the cadre of the service”, Justice Kumar said.

Court also added that any attempt by the such officers to assail their transfer and posting to the place which they may feel inconvenient for them would only be seen as an endeavor to continue at a particular place of posting indefinitely or till such time they are offered an equally convenient posting.

“My sincere advice to these officers is to desist from making such attempts lest an impression would be gathered that they are not interested in the smooth running of the administration but are only keen in a particular type of postings. Least said, the better”, Justice Kumar recorded.

It is not the case of the petitioners, court added, that by transferring them from the Revenue Department and placing their services at the disposal of Secretariat service to be posted there, has, in any manner, affected their status.

“They are the Junior KAS officers (cadre officers of the J&K Administrative Service) and would continue to be so when posted in the Secretariat”, Court has held.

Both the officers filed the petition jointly, assailing therein the validity of Govt. Order No.1237-GAD of 2018 dated 04.08.2018 (impugned order) on the ground that the Government order whereby both the officers have been transferred and their services have been placed at the disposal of Secretariat is illegal, arbitrary and contrary to the professed policy of the respondents that the Junior KAS officers shall be posted in different departments of the Government on rotation and ordinarily shall be allowed to continue for the minimum tenure of two years in a particular department before being shifted to other department.

It is alleged by both the officers that the respondents are accommodating blue eyed persons by giving them prize posting by adjusting them in the personal sections of the Advisors to the Governor.

In this connection, attention was invited by the senior counsel appearing for and on behalf of petitioners to the impugned order whereby two junior KAS officers, Malik Suhail Ahmad and Ashwani Hansa have been posted as Under Secretary in the J&K Services Selection Board.

Referring to the Rule 21 of the Rules of 2008 and Rule 27 of the Rules of 1956 of CSR, Court said a member of service or class of service may be required to serve in any part of the Jammu and Kashmir State in any post borne on the cadre of such service or class.

The employer, the Government, Court said, has unfettered discretion in the matter of transfer and posting of its employees from one post in the cadre to another post of the cadre of service, on which employee sought to be transferred is borne on.

“The order impugned has been issued by the Government in the interest of administration, not only because the recital of the order says so but also because it is in the interest of administration as it effects the transfer in as many as 115 officers from one department of the Government to another”, read the judgment. (DE)

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