The Central Administrative Tribunal has recently ruled that government employees do not possess the privilege to stay stationed at their preferred location. The tribunal further clarified that the employees can be relocated as per the administrative requirements.
The petition was filed by an employee, dissatisfied with a directive mandating transfer from Government High School Warnow, Lolab, Jammu and Kashmir to Government Boys Higher Secondary School Teetwal, Karnah, Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect.
In response, the tribunal stated that the employer holds the right to deploy an employee’s services wherever they see fit. Additionally, reassignments are a natural part of a job and a fundamental aspect of employment.
The tribunal further noted that it would be impractical for any government to operate effectively if an employee insists on remaining in a specific location or role indefinitely after appointment or posting. Furthermore, it clarified that the tribunal holds limited authority to interfere with an employer’s decision, except in cases of malice or incompetence. The tribunal generally refrains from intervening in employee transfers unless there are violations of statutory rules or clear evidence of malicious intent.
The legal representative for the dissatisfied employee argued that the principal of Government High School, Warnow, advocated for the applicant’s relocation because the applicant had disrupted the workplace atmosphere resulting in adverse effects on the institution’s operational efficiency.
As per the court the contested order should be revoked because it is punitive in nature. It emphasised that maintaining internal harmony in an organisation, especially in an educational institution, is not a form of punishment but a necessity for overall growth.