While dismissing a PIL, challenging government resolution (GR) dated July 7 allowing various departments to carry out only 15 per cent annual general transfers, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court recently allowed the petitioner, a social worker, to donate Rs 50, 000 out of Rs 1.5 lakh he had deposited with the court’s registry to Government Medical College and Hospital, a Covid-19 centre in Aurangabad.
The PIL stated that while annual regular transfers of government employees were prohibited by an order dated May 4, with the new GR allowing transfers, citizens will be deprived of services as already fewer employees performing essential services were on duty due to distancing norms in government offices.
A division bench of Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice R G Avachat, on July 20, heard a PIL filed by social worker Sandip Mohan Waisal, through lawyer G R Godbole, challenging the legality of the July 7 GR and seeking for it to be quashed and set aside.
“If allowed to be implemented, it would result in large-scale loss to the public exchequer and will create problems to citizens. Presently, only 15 per cent staff is functioning and if they are transferred, it would result in a chaotic situation,” Waisal said.
Government Pleader D R Kale opposed the PIL and said the petitioner, who was not a government servant, did not have the right to seek relief before the court.
The court noted that an employee affected by the GR has every right to approach, while the petitioner, a social worker, cannot claim such a right. It said it was for the authorities to consider the feasibility of transfers in the current situation.
The bench also noted that if Waisal was deprived of legitimate services, he could register his grievances with the concerned authority and the PIL cannot be entertained.
Godbole submitted that Waisal had deposited a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh as per the court’s orders to show bona fides and as the PIL was for the benefit of people at large, he sought its withdrawal. The court noted that Waisal “graciously” expressed willingness to donate Rs 50,000 to the Government College and Hospital at Aurangabad.
Accepting the request, the HC allowed Waisal to withdraw Rs 1 lakh and directed its registry to donate Rs 50,000 to the Covid-19 centre.
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