HC dismisses ITBP official’s plea to stall transfer on pretext of wife’s mental health

·3-min read

New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea by an ITBP constable seeking to stall his transfer to Ladakh on the pretext that his wife was suffering from depression and was a threat to their infant son.

The high court noted the conclusion of the medical board, which examined the official’s wife, and her statement that they do not want to go Ladakh at this stage as they have a child with them.

The court said this leaves no doubt that just to stall his transfer, the petitioner had gone to the extent of contending that his wife was suffering from postpartum depression and “is a threat to her infant son”.

A bench of Justices Manmohan and Asha Menon dismissed the petition being bereft of merits and vacated its interim order of putting a stay on the official’s transfer order.

The authorities had earlier issued the transfer order directing the Indo-Tibetian Border Police (ITBP) constable to move to 37 Bn Leh, Ladakh and the date of joining was March 17.

“The petitioner is directed to join his new place of posting as expeditiously as possible but not later than one week. In the event, the petitioner does not join the said posting, the respondents shall be at liberty to take appropriate action against the petitioner in accordance with law,” the bench said in its March 25 order.

The official had challenged his transfer order relying upon an office memorandum of October 8, 2018, which dealt with the posting of government employees who have differently-abled dependents.

The plea said a son was born to the official in January last year and immediately thereafter his wife started showing symptoms of depression and claimed that she was diagnosed with postpartum depression personality disorder and now he was the primary care giver of his one-year-old child.

It said the official sent a letter to the authorities requesting for stay of his transfer and to allow him to continue in and around his present posting because of the mental health of his wife and the need to take care of the child. However, no reply has been received from the authorities till date, it claimed.

In pursuance to the court’s earlier order, a medical board was set up by the authorities, comprising two psychiatrists and a gynaecologist at Base Hospital, ITB Police at Tigri Camp here.

The board had opined that the woman was currently maintaining well and no depressive features were noted.

“From the aforesaid report, it is apparent that the petitioner’s wife is leading a normal healthy life.… “Consequently, keeping in view the clear and categorical opinion of the medical board constituted by this court and that too with the consent of the petitioner, this court is of the opinion that the wife of the petitioner is neither depressed nor suffering from any mental health issue,” the bench said.

“In fact, the conclusion of the medical board as well as petitioner’s wife’s conduct of not reporting back to the medical board and her candid statement ‘Ladakh nahi jaana, abhi bacha haina sath me, Noida main hi rehne do’ leaves us in no doubt that the petitioner just to stall his posting/transfer had gone to the extent of contending on the last date of hearing that his wife is suffering from postpartum depression and ‘is a threat to her infant son’,” the bench said. PTI SKV SA