SC: Not receiving an order of transfer does not render the order ingenuine

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 15th January 2020, in the matter of Rajneesh Khajuria v. M/s. Wockhardt Ltd. & Anr. observed that the assertion that an order of transfer was not received by the employee is not relevant to hold that the termination order was fake.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

The assertion that an order of transfer was not received by the employee is not relevant to hold that the termination order was fake. Even if, the employee has managed not to receive the same, the termination order does not become fake or ingenuine. (Para 13)

The act of transfer can be unfair labour practice if the transfer is actuated by mala fide. The allegations of mala fide have two facets – one malice in law and the other being malice in fact. (Para 14)

The plea of mala fide involves two questions, namely (i) whether there is a personal bias or an oblique motive, and (ii) whether the administrative action is contrary to the objects, requirements and conditions of a valid exercise of administrative power. (Para 14)

Malice in law would be something which is done without lawful excuse or an act done wrongfully and willfully without reasonable or probable cause. (Para 21)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_15-Jan-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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