The Election Commission of India (EC) on Monday moved the Karnataka High Court challenging the April 12 order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which had asked the government to post eight IAS officers back to the posts held by them prior to March 27 while staying their transfer based on the direction given by the EC.
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B. Manohar has adjourned hearing to Tuesday as the State government and the eight IAS officers have agreed to maintain status quo on implementation of the interim order of the CAT.
Since the government is yet to implement the direction of the CAT, the transfer of these officers remains unaffected for a day, following undertaking given for maintaining the status quo.
The CAT had said the transfer of these officers was violation of IAS (Cadre) Rules as they were transferred “prematurely” before completion of minimum two years’ tenure in their post as deputy commissioners, without consulting a committee, headed by the Chief Secretary.
‘Not under purview’
In its petition, the EC had contended that the CAT had no jurisdiction to entertain the petitions filed by the eight IAS officers, V. Srirama Reddy and others, as the transfers for conduct of elections does not come under the purview of violation of service conditions as per the provisions of the Administrative Tribunals Act.
The EC has also contended that interference by the CAT would jeopardise the ongoing election process as the interim order would impact the arrangements made by it. Pointing out that transfers were made only for the purpose of conducting elections, the EC contended it is empowered to issue such direction for transfer under Article 324 of the Constitution.