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The Madras High Court  has set aside the transfer order of a havlidar on a last leg posting to Kashmir even as it appealed to the Indian Army to address the problems faced by its officers and personnel so that the Army becomes a ‘dream job’ for the youth of the country.

The petitioner, B Sakthivel, a havildar posted in Chennai, was recently transferred by the Army to the State of Jammu and Kashmir even though he has just a little above a year’s service left. Sakthivel had served in various states. He had served in Jammu and Kashmir alone for ten and half years, which is defined as hard area and field area for the purpose of posting. He argued in the court that due to personal family circumstances, it was difficult for him to move far away from Chennai.

Justice S Vimala said in her verdict that the principles of natural justice have been violated and the policy of the last leg posting has been forgotten when Sakthivel was issued the transfer order. The court set aside the transfer order and allowed Sakthivel to remain in Chennai till his superannuation in 2020. She observed that the purpose behind last leg posting at a place of choice is that the member of the force can find an accommodation where he can live peacefully in his twilight years.

“The policy of the last leg tenure posting is a recognition that a member of the armed force, who has served the country well and has spent more than 50 per cent of the tenure in non-family stations, is entitled to settle his personal affairs before he retires, so that, post-retirement he can live in peace,” the judge said in her order.

The petitioner had submitted that he has an aged father, an amputee with only one leg in terms of functional efficiency, who would not be able to take care of Sakthivel’s family.Recording the submissions, the judge said the petitioner cannot discharge his duty in between the two extreme difficulties and is entitled to be retained in Chennai.

The judge set aside the transfer order and directed the authorities to permit the petitioner to remain in Chennai for the remaining period, ie, till his superannuation.

Also, Justice Vimala observed: ”Managing human resources is vital to any organisational set-up and the armed forces are no exception…The task ahead is to recognise the nature of problems faced by the soldiers and improve the service conditions, so that Indian military officers is a dream job of all the bright, ambitious and motivated youngsters.”

–India Legal Bureau

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