Bangalore: Observing that Election Commission has wide plenary powers during election process, Karnataka High Court today set aside an order of Central Administrative Tribunal staying transfers of seven IAS and one IPS officers in the poll-bound state.
Allowing a petition by the Election Commission challenging the April 12 interim order of the CAT, a division bench headed by Justice N Kumar observed that the EC has wide plenary powers during election process and the transfers (ordered by it) were only deputations.
"On expiry of electoral process on May 10, the displaced officers to revert to their positions from which (they were) displaced without orders from the government," the court held.
Karnataka is going to Assembly polls on May 5 and the model code of conduct came into force on March 20 last.
On March 26, the EC directed the government to transfer seven IAS officers in the posts of Deputy Commissioners of districts and one IPS officer and the state government complied with it the next day.
The officers moved the CAT on April 3 contending that the transfers were violative of the service condition rules and also EC`s own guidelines.
Allowing their interim prayer, Judge Shanthappa had ordered a stay of the impugned order and directed the government to restore them to their postings prior to the transfers.