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The Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition filed by the secretary of National Defense Civilian Employees Union, challenging order of the Indian Navy which last month refused to transfer him.

Division bench of Justices R G Ketkar and S A Bobade recently upheld the decision of the Naval authorities to reject the transfer request of the petitioner, Clifford Lewis, saying that the action was not malafide.

“While turning down the petitioner’s request, the respondents (Navy) took into account the relevant material. The petitioner was also informed that his transfer from Sewri unit (in Mumbai) would affect the maintenance of equipment. It was also made clear that request for transfer would be considered when feasible,” the judges noted.

On March 28, 2011, the Union had submitted a representation to Vice Admiral, Naval Headquarters, Mumbai, alleging that undue pressure was being exerted by Commander Iqbal Singh Garewal on Lewis, as he was the General Secretary of Union. It was also alleged that Lewis apprehended threat to his life on the Dockyard premises.

In view of this, on April 25, 2011, Lewis was transferred.

But Lewis challenged the transfer before Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which set it aside.

Union Government then filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, which quashed Tribunal’s decision and asked Lewis to make a representation within a week to the Superintendent.

He made a representation in June this year, which was turned down. He moved HC, but the court upheld the decision of the Authorities to reject his transfer request.


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