Supreme Court declines to interfere in Army postings, says 'someone has to go to Ladakh'

Updated: 16 November, 2020 21:45 IST | IANS | New Delhi

The observation from the top court came while hearing an appeal filed by a Colonel challenging the Delhi High Court order which had asked him and his wife, also a Colonel in the Army, to move to their newly-assigned posts within 15 days

Supreme Court. File pic
Supreme Court. File pic

The Supreme Court on Monday said that Army postings is something it does not want to interfere with, contending that somebody would have to serve in difficult places like Ladakh.

The observation from the top court came while hearing an appeal filed by a Colonel challenging the Delhi High Court order which had asked him and his wife, also a Colonel in the Army, to move to their newly-assigned posts within 15 days.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee said that be it Ladakh, the northeast, or the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, somebody will have to go there.

"You may have grievances but posting in army is something we wouldn't want to interfere with," said the bench, as it declined to pass any order for joint posting of the Army couple.

The petitioner challenged his posting to Andaman and Nicobar Islands from Rajasthan's Jodhpur, while his wife was in Punjab's Bathinda.

The petitioner, an officer in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) department, challenged the May 15 posting order in the High Court, alleging that the decision to transfer him and his wife to far-off locations has been taken, in the backdrop of a statutory complaint, which he had filed against the JAG and others.

The petitioner's counsel cited before the top court that distance between Bhatinda to Andaman and Nicobar Islands is over 3,500 km, and the officers have a four-and-half-year-old child. The counsel submitted that his client may have to apply for voluntary retirement due to this transfer.

Insisting that top court should not interfere in matters of posting, the bench said these are very hard cases and difficult for the top court to consider.

"Ranjit Kumar, senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, seeks the permission of the court to withdraw the Special Leave Petition so as to enable the petitioner to pursue independent proceedings in regard to his request for withdrawing the application for voluntary retirement," the bench noted in its order.

"In terms of the above request, the Special Leave Petition is dismissed as withdrawn leaving it open to the petitioner to pursue available remedies," said the top court.

On October 20, the High Court asked the Colonel couple to move to their newly assigned posts within 15 days, citing that the Army has given reasons in its order rejecting Kumar's request/representation for a spouse coordinated posting. The High Court noted that no violation of any rule has been made out for the court to interfere.

On September 15, the High Court had asked the Army to take a decision on the request of the couple for a joint posting within four weeks.

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First Published: 16 November, 2020 21:41 IST

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