HC asks TN to issue guidelines for clarity on transfer | Madurai News

Madurai: Putting aside transfer orders for five members of the prison police, the Madras High Court said it was time for the state government to issue guidelines to clarify the definitions of “administrative reason” and “Punitive in nature”, in transfer matters where allegations or complaints are pending against employees.
The court was considering petitions filed by five police officers challenging their transfer orders from Palayamkottai Central Prison in Tirunelveli District to Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai.
According to the petitioners, an accused P Muthu Mano was murdered by the other inmates of the prison on April 22. While the accused detainees were arrested, the authorities on duty and responsible for the security of the detainees were suspended.
Following this incident, the authorities transferred the petitioners for administrative reasons. Counsel for the applicants argued that they were not on duty at all at the time of the occurrence and that they were not responsible for the incident.
However, the state argued that as Palayamkottai Central Prison is a caste sensitive location, prisoners were separated and housed in separate cells. Even though the petitioners do not belong to any sensitive sector, they have a habit of spreading malicious information and creating group clashes between two basic sects of inmates, as well as prison staff. In order to avoid further complications and for security reasons, transfer orders are placed on the basis of a discreet investigation report.
Judge D Krishnakumar observed that a reading of the transfer orders shows that they were made for administrative reasons, however, in the counter affidavit it is stated that the orders were made on the basis of the report of discreet investigation.
The judge concluded that the orders violate the principles of natural justice, since they are contrary to the letter of clarification issued by the government.


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