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Transfer of Government Servants

If a person is a government servant, he or she has to expect transfers. Employees are usually transferred with the aim to promote efficiency, maintain organizational effectiveness, and ensure equitable distribution of human resources, among other reasons. This is a critical administrative function due to its potential impact on an individual's career, family life, and personal circumstances. As a result, transfers are often contested before the High Courts or respective Administrative Tribunals in the country. In Kerala, the transfer cases of government employees are contested before the Kerala Administrative Tribunal. Transfer issues of organizations like KSEB, Kerala SRTC, etc., will have to be challenged before the High Court of Kerala.

Though the issue of transfer is the prerogative of the employer, the government cannot issue transfer orders in violation of the settled principles of law. Mainly, transfers are issued due to administrative exigency, public interest, or as a part of the General Transfer process in tune with the norms regarding General transfer.

Though the courts and tribunals will usually be reluctant to interfere in the case of a transfer, in situations where the transfer order is vitiated by malice, violation of service rules, violation of any statutory provision (for example, Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016), violation of principles of natural justice, violation of Executive orders of transfer norms, or in situations where the transfer order may cause disproportionate hardships and prejudices to the employees, courts may interfere. However, the courts will often try to strike a balance between the administrative needs and the rights and welfare of the government employees.

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