[Service Law] Department Cannot Act Like East India Company

A writ petition was filed by a Civil servant challenging the order passed by the Kalaburagi Bench of Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal (KSAT) on 12.08.2020 where his application against unilateral termination of his deputation by the borrowing department was dismissed due to efflux of time.

Karnataka High Court observed that State is a model employer and cannot act like East India Company.

Brief Fact of the Case:-

The petitioner and the third respondent are in the service of the Public Works Department (PWD). The second respondent (State of Karnataka) had lent the services of the petitioner to the first respondent(RDPR department). The second respondent vide order dated 02.06.2017 posted the petitioner Assistant Executive Engineer, Vijaypur.

The borrowing department cancelled the deputation of the petitioner vide order dated 27.02.2020, and he was sent back to his parent department( PWD). The petitioner challenged the notification dated 27.02.2020, which was dismissed by the KSAT.

Aggrieved by the order passed by KSAT, the petitioner moved the Karnataka High Court.

The reasoning of the Court

Karnataka High Court referred to ‘Law relating to Public Service’ where the author explained that deputation should be understood in the context that deputation is kind of an assignment where one department lends the service of an employee to another department for a specified purpose.

The Court also referred to the Supreme Court’s judgment in State of Punjab vs Inder Singh where the Court explained that deputation means service outside the cadre or parent organisation. Deputation means transferring an employee to another department temporarily. After the period of deputation is over the employee has to come back to his parent department. The consent of the person being deputed is necessary.

Further, the Karnataka High Court Court opined that in the instant case, the borrowing department had sent the petitioner back unceremoniously and abruptly without consulting the lending department. The Court opined that the conduct of the borrowing department was not fair.

Karnataka High Court agreed with the stand taken by the respondents that the deputationist has no legal right to post/office to which he is deputed. However, Rule 50 of KCSR provides a maximum period of 5 years for deputation. The Court referred to a government order dated 19.11.1981 that prescribes that the borrowing department should consult with the lending department when cutting short a deputation. In this case, no consultation was done.

Court also observed that the KSAT dismissed the application on the ground that the application has become infructuous and the Court opined that the KSAT did not take into account the grievance of the Civil Servant.

The Decision of the Court

Karnataka High Court Court allowed the application of the petitioner and quashed the order passed by the KSAT.

The Court directed respondents one and two that the petitioner should be restored to the position that he held on deputation.

Case Details:-

Title: C. B Chikkalagi vs State of Karnataka & Ors

Case No. WP 226384/2020(KSAT)

Date of Order: 28.09.2020

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Krishna S Dixit

Advocates: Sri M Madhusudan for the petitioner; Sri Prasanna Deshpande for R1 and R2 Sri Mahantesh Patil for R3

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