The Madras High Court has temporarily stayed an order, transferring a government official within 21 days of assuming office for reportedly refusing to pay heed to an MLA's recommendation to allot government subsidised two-wheelers for working women to ineligible beneficiaries.
S Devanathan, who took charge as joint director, district mission management unit, Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission, Perambalur, on February 26, moved the court recently, challenging the order which was slapped on him on June 11.
Devanathan submitted that the process of identifying the beneficiaries under the 'Amma two wheeler scheme' commenced even before he took charge.
He said 126 of the total of 810 beneficiaries were selected by the district-level selection committee headed by the collector before his appointment and the remaining 684 after he assumed office.
The MLA, he alleged, submitted his own list of people to his predecessor to select them as beneficiaries.
He said the MLA often contacted him and other officials through his supporters in an attempt to pressure them to include the names, which they, however, refused.
On May 21, the MLA threatened him with dire consequences for not heeding his demand, following which he reported the matter to higher-ranked officials, Devanathan said.
The official said he was "unfairly" transferred instead of being commended for his honesty.
Devananathan claimed the June 11 order was not issued on any administrative ground. Such an order, issued within four months from the date of the earlier one, was a clear violation of the government's transfer policy, he said.
Hence, the petitioner moved the court to quash the transfer order.
Admitting the plea, the court granted an interim stay on the transfer order and directed the government to file its reply by July 3.