Government will have a re-look at the rules, says Advocate-General

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday advised the State government to revisit the rules governing the transfer of teachers working in various government schools and make the rules “family friendly”.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna made suggestions in this regard during the hearing of an appeal filed by the State government challenging an order of a Single Judge Bench, which had termed fixing only 1 per cent for transfer of teachers under the category of “joining spouses”.

During the hearing, the Bench prima facie observed that there was no corresponding link between the provisions of the Karnataka State Civil Services (Regulation of Transfer of Teachers) Act, 2007 and the Karnataka State Civil Services (Control of Transfer of Teachers) Rules, 2007, which were framed under the Act.

“There is no corresponding link between the rules and the Act. Rules are made with the intention to help the spouses, who are living separately. But now, practically, rules are separating them from each other. Rules should not be anti-family. They should be friendly to the family…,” the Bench orally observed.

Advocate-General Ravivarma Kumar, who argued the appeal, accepted the suggestion from the Bench and submitted that the government will have a re-look at the rules, while seeking time to take up this exercise as it involves process like issuance of draft rules, inviting objections and suggestions.

The Single Judge Bench had found that Rule 8 (13), which fixes 1 per cent reservation for transfer under this category, did not serve any purpose. For most of the teachers the benefit under this category, which is a one-time benefit during service, cannot materialise at all due to meagre percentage.

The Single Judge Bench, while allowing a petition filed by C.B. Lalitha, an assistant teacher waiting for transfer under this category since 2010, had quashed Rule 8(13) holding it as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. The court had also directed the government to transfer her to Bangalore Division (from Mysore Division), at Bangalore or other place within a 50-km radius from Bangalore, to enable her to join her husband, who is a practising advocate in Bangalore.

However, the government challenged this order before the Division Bench, which will hear the appeal again on December 19.