‘State best to take call on central deputation’

Shimla, June 29 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh High Court has observed that the state is the best authority to take a call on central deputation and the judiciary should maintain restraint in this regard.

Disposing of a petition of Bhupinder Singh Negi, who was on deputation with the Enforcement Directorate but was later recalled, a division bench of Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Sandeep Sharma said on Tuesday: “It’s for the government to decide as to how best his services can be utilised.”

“And it’s not for this court to dictate the terms. That apart, the state, which is the best authority to decide whom, where, why and when a person is to be sent on deputation and it’s not for the petitioner to dictate such terms.”

In a cautionary note, the 16-page judgment said: “The government is the best judge to decide how to distribute and utilise the services of its employees. However, this power should be exercised in public interest.”

“If the exercise of power is based on extraneous considerations or for achieving an alien purpose or an oblique motive it would amount to malafide and colourable exercise of power.”

Police officwe Negi was recalled by the state government, citing a leadership shortage in the state police. He had challenged the decision.

The judges observed the challenge to an order of this kind should normally be eschewed and should not be countenanced by the courts or tribunals as though they are appellate authorities over such orders.

“It’s purely an administrative matter and, therefore, the scope of interference by the courts is very limited. The state administration cannot function with its hands tied by judiciary behind its back.”

“It’s well settled that courts must not ordinarily interfere in administrative matters and should maintain judicial restraint,” added the judges.

The state had said “no employee has a right to claim central deputation and even otherwise the state government always has a right to call back its employees from central deputation and also to withdraw any recommendation made to this effect, if need so arises”.

–IANS

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