The Manipur government has been alleged of violating the state transfer and posting policy towards an employee of the Social Welfare department by issuing a transfer order before completion of terms.
In this regard, the Manipur High Court has directed the state respondents of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in connection with this case to file a counter affidavit by November 25.
Alleging that the transfer-posting policy has been violated in her case, one Roshnichand Tourangbam working in the Social Welfare department as CPDO filed a writ petition in the Manipur High Court.
The respondents of the case are additional chief secretary of Social Welfare; deputy secretary (SW); CDPO, C/O director of Social Welfare, Th Lakhipriya Devi and CDPO, ICDS Project, Mao Maram, C/O director of Social Welfare, Adaha P Chapullo.
According to the petition, she had served her duty in hill areas for almost 14 years and recently posted at Integrated Child Development service (ICDS) Project Imphal City Project on promotion. But she was again transferred to ICDS Project, Mao Maram allegedly before even completing seven months of her posting in Imphal.
The authority concerned issued her transfer order from Mao Maram ICDS Project where she served as supervisor and in-charge Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) of Chandel ICDS Project and further posted as CDPO of Imphal City ICDS Project on promotion on March 24, 2022. But without completing normal tenure of posting, the authority concerned again issued her transfer order to Mao Maram ICDS Project as CDPO on October 13.
The petitioner was appointed as supervisor in the department of Social Welfare on November 14, 1996 and thereafter she was posted at ICDS Project Bishnupur on December 13, 1996 and served there for 12 years.
She was transferred to Mao Maram ICDS Project on September 24, 2008 and worked there for 12 years. Further she was transferred to Chandel as in charge CDPO on January 2, 2020 and after serving there for two years, she was transferred to ICDS Project Imphal City on promotion on March 24, 2022.
In the writ petition, the petition prayed for quashing or setting aside the impugned transfer order issued on October 13, 2022 and she be allowed to serve as CDPO, ICDS Imphal City.
It also mentioned that transferring her from ICDS Project, Imphal City to ICDS Mao Maram just to accommodate the private respondent in violation of the transfer and positing policy of the state government is illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and malafide.
The petitioner also requested the additional chief secretary (SW) on October 17, 2022, urging to review the transfer order as her husband also expired on January 1, 2022 and has to look after her aged in-laws.
It may be mentioned that the state government formulated the ‘Policy for Transfer and Posting of Government Employees of the state of Manipur’ so that every government employee serves their service efficiently and responsively across the state, to minimise hardship of frequent transfer and postings.
The policy was also framed to ensure equitable distribution of government employees at different locations in a fair and transparent manner and to maximize job satisfaction.
As per this policy, the normal tenure of an officer or employee in a post will be a minimum of one year and six months and maximum of three years in a place of posting.
No transfer may be effected unless the concerned employee completes one year and six months in a post, unless there are compelling reasons or circumstances to do so.
An officer or official must be posted for a total period of not less than nine years in hill areas or difficult places during the entire service period. This may be served successively or after breaks as preferred by the officer or official.
According to the hearing of the case on November 21, government Advocate S Nepolean, appearing for the state respondents, sought two weeks’ time for filing counter affidavit.
Learned Senior counsel HS Paonam appearing for respondent number 3 and learned counsel, D Julius Riamei appearing for respondent number 4 submitted that they will file their respective counter affidavit within two days.
The prayer made by the government advocate was vehemently objected by counsel for the petitioner and prayed for consideration of the prayers for passing interim order.
In view of the objection raised by the counsel of the petitioner, the state respondents were directed to file a counter affidavit by November 25 of 2022.
As prayed for, the case has been listed again on November 25 for consideration of the prayer for passing an interim order.