New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that police personnel can be transferred to any part within a state for administrative convenience and courts should not interfere with such executive decisions as it would otherwise affect the law and order situation.
"Courts should not, in our opinion, interfere with purely administrative matters except where absolutely necessary on account of violation of any fundamental or other legal right of the citizen.
"After all, the state administration cannot function with its hands tied by judiciary behind its back," a Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur said in a judgement.
The apex court made the remarks while setting aside a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgement which had quashed the transfer of Haryana police personnel on the ground that the rules did not permit it.
"In our opinion, the High Court has taken a totally impractical view of the matter. If the view of the High Court is to prevail, great difficulties will be created for the state administration since it will not be able to
transfer/deploy its police force from one place where there may be relative peace to another district or region/range in the state where there may be disturbed law and order situation and hence requirement of more police," Justice Katju writing the judgement said.
In the instant case, the police personnel of Haryana in the rank of constables, Head Constables, Assistant Sub-Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors had contended they cannot be transferred out of the district or the range to which they belong.
Interpreting the provisions of the Indian Police Act of 1861, the apex court said the state police is one integral unit and does not consist of separate independent units and hence are liable to be transferred at the convenience of the government.