24 June 2024


High Court of Delhi

Divya Gauba vs. Union of India & Ors.




Transfer is an exigency of service and it is not in the domain of the Court to interfere with a transfer order unless it is malafide

Petitioner is a regular employee of Air India and was working in 2017 as a Senior Assistant General Manager (Commercial). Vide order dated 28.06.2017, Petitioner was approved for a foreign posting as Manager, Denmark and according to the Petitioner, the tenure of posting was 3 years. Vide order dated 20.05.2020, Petitioner has been reposted back to India and is required to join Southern Region, Chennai. It is this order which is assailed by the Petitioner in the present petition. Principal contention in the present petition is that the Petitioner is suffering from certain health issues which makes her very vulnerable and if she travels back to India, in the present circumstances of the Pandemic Covid-19, there is a high risk of her catching infection both during the flight and after she lands at the Airport in India. Petitioner, therefore, requests that the Posting Order dated 20.05.2020 be kept in abeyance until things normalise and she is able to travel back to India without the risk of catching infection on account of Covid-19.

This Court is of the opinion that no ground has been made out by the Petitioner for quashing the Posting Order. Transfer is an exigency of service and it is not in the domain of the Court to interfere with a transfer order unless it is malafide or in violation of the transfer policy. None of the two exceptions have been either pleaded or have been substantiated by the Petitioner during the arguments. Even going by the averment of the Petitioner that the tenure of the posting was three years, which was disputed by Air India, the three years have come to an end and the Petitioner has no vested right to continue in Denmark.

Court has been taken through the orders of the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court as well as the Recommendations of the Expert Committee and in my opinion the concern of the Petitioner for safe flight back to India stands adequately addressed by the safety measures recommended and being undertaken by the Airlines. Additionally, it is assured that, all necessary steps shall be taken to ensure safe travel of the Petitioner including Institutional Quarantine, if required. Certain allowances, as shall also be disbursed to the Petitioner. The assurance given is taken on record and in my view no further orders are required in the present petition.

However, keeping in view the unprecedented situation that has arisen on account of the Pandemic Covid-19, this Court deems fit in the special circumstances of this case to permit the Petitioner to join back by 15th July, 2020. It is made clear that the Petitioner will not misuse the indulgence granted by the Court and stay beyond the period permitted by the Court. Petition is disposed of in the above terms.

Tags : Tenure Reposting Legality

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