Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Transfer compulsory for judges after three years

Ahmedabad: No judge in Gujarat courts can occupy a post for more than three years, as the Gujarat high court has come up for the first time with a policy of judges’ transfer in the state. 
   In a recent circular on ‘Policy and Modalities of Transfer and Posting of Judicial Officers’, the high court has made it compulsory for a judge to stay at one place, though in various posts, for three years, except in case of administrative exigency. The rule will apply to all magistrates, right up to district judges and other judicial officers.
   Transfers of judges in the state will henceforth take place only once a year, and those judicial officers completing three years at one place will be shifted as part of the transfer. The high court has given an option to judges to go to the place of preference, but for this they will have to inform the authorities at least two months prior to their posting. The high court has decided to give due weightage to such option. This benefit of preferred destination, however, will not be available to new comers in judicial service in their first posting.
   On preference, the transfer will depend on the number of vacant posts, facilities available on the place of posting and how far the place is from Gandhinagar. Moreover, the high court has chalked out three zones, and transfer will take place from one to the other, and later from there to the third zone. Those judges who are transferred to their preferred place on request, will not be entitled to transfer allowance.
   The high court has accepted a string of norms for compliance of orders. If a judge wants to make representation against his transfer order, he will have to first resume service at the new place and should approach the authority through proper channel. “No judicial officer can directly or indirectly, in writing or orally, approach any authority, including any member of transfer and posting committee, through any other source other than official representation. If the procedure is violated, the matter will be viewed very seriously and in such case, his option will not be accepted,” the circular reads.
   The high court will not transfer the judge in case of exigency, or any need of HC or in case of his or his family member’s critical illness like cancer, AIDS, major post-operative period, tuberculosis and dialysis or kidney failure. The exception is also in case of death of near and dear ones of the judicial officer.

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