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High court quashes transfer

Guwahati, Aug. 19: Gauhati High Court today asked Lakhimpur zilla parishad chief executive officer Khagen Borgohain to continue in his post if he had not handed over charge to anyone.

The high court thus effectively quashed an Assam government order dated August 13 transferring Borgohain and posting him as joint secretary in the hill areas department.

The transfer of Borgohain, an Assam civil service official, has generated statewide protests, with several organisations terming the government’s act as nothing but a move to punish an honest officer for writing to the panchayat and rural development commissioner on August 7 about alleged irregularities in a scheme prepared by Lakhimpur MP Ranee Narah.

Borgohain, in his petition to the high court, said his transfer order was the result of unwanted interference by Narah, who on Saturday denied the charges levelled against her by Borgohain.

Narah had told The Telegraph, “People do not know that Borgohain had sent a Rs 14-crore proposal to Dispur by keeping the zilla parishad members in the dark. I will respond with proper documents. But I must say here that I do not transfer officials.”

On the basis of a writ petition filed by Borgohain, a single judge bench of justice Ujjal Bhuyan asked the petitioner to continue if he had not handed over charge yet.

The high court has also asked H.K. Mahanta, standing counsel of the personnel department, government of Assam, to submit relevant documents regarding Borgohain’s transfer by 2pm tomorrow.