Justice R.Sureskumar Observing that filing appeals without obtaining proper legal advice would result in huge loss to state exchequer, Madras high court directed Tangedco authorities to immediately permit a petitioner to rejoin service and disburse his back wages for two years.

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Transfer case: HC ticks off Tangedco for relying on poor legal advice
Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Sep 7, 2020, 04:57 IST
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Madurai: Observing that filing appeals without obtaining proper legal advice would result in huge loss to state exchequer, Madras high court directed Tangedco authorities to immediately permit a petitioner to rejoin service and disburse his back wages for two years.
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The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by S Velmurugan for alleged disobedience of the order passed by a single judge of the court in 2019. The petitioner was working as executive engineer at Karur when he was transferred and posted in Nilgiris district in 2018. He challenged the transfer order which a single judge set aside citing violation of statutes and allowed him to work at Karur itself. It was also directed to regularise his non-employment period as duty period. An appeal preferred by Tangedco was dismissed by a division bench on August 24 this year.

Justice R Suresh Kumar observed that the petitioner has not been permitted to rejoin in the place from where he was transferred for more than two years. Since the non-employment period for the past two years is now to be treated as duty period, the petitioner would be entitled to the full salary of nearly Rs 15lakh without extracting any work from him.
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The judge observed that though the right of appeal is always available to the parties, of late, most of the orders passed by the court are being appealed against. In a number of similar circumstances, the officials / authorities / employer without taking proper legal advice, take the matters by way of appeal to the higher forum due to which a huge amount of the government exchequer is being wasted.

The judge observed that usually transfer orders would not be interfered with, except in cases where they are in violation of jurisdiction or statutes. When transfer orders are interfered with by the court, it should be complied with as in this case the transfer order was in violation of the statute. The loss could have been avoided had Tangedco obtained legal advice from the counsel before taking up the matter on appeal, the court said.
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