HC sets deadline for repatriating Excise officers

HC sets deadline for repatriating Excise officers

The Karnataka High Court on Monday gave time till November 27 for the state government to repatriate all officers of the Excise department who were transferred on the eve of Assembly elections in May. 

A division bench comprising Justices H G Ramesh and Alok Aradhe was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Excise department officers who were transferred by the state government on the instructions of the Election Commission (EC), and had not been repatriated after the completion of the elections. The petitioners - Mallappa Banuvalli and others have moved the high court after the Karnataka State Administrative Tribunal declined to give a positive direction on their prayer for repatriation.

The bench also made a strong oral observation stating that it would record “lawless state” if the state fails to repatriate all those officers who were transferred on the instructions of the EC.

“The law is settled on such transfers. When the election process is over, they are automatically transferred back. We expect that all petitions before should be dismissed as infructuous (meaning that all are repatriated),” the bench said.

It cautioned that “There should be no excuses. Otherwise, we would write that it is a lawless state.”

During the hearing, senior advocate M N Nagaprasanna informed the court that all departments have repatriated such officers after the elections.

“Even in this Excise department, it is only in 2-3 cadre posts that the officers are not yet repatriated” he added. “What so special about this excise department ?” the bench sought to know.

Advocate General Uday Holla submitted that he had instructed the government to repatriate those officers. The bench then asked the government to inform the court on the next date of hearing on the action taken in this regard and adjourned the case to November 27.

More than 100 excise officers in the cadre of inspector, sub-inspector and deputy superintendent of police are yet to be repatriated.

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