New Delhi: In a setback to Mamata Banerjee’s trusted aide and former Chief Secretary, Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the Delhi High Court has quashed his plea against the order transferring his case from CAT’s Kolkata branch to its principal bench in Delhi.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh while pronouncing the order today (March 7), observed that it sees no reason to interfere on the matter.
His counsel requested that Bandyopadhyay was an officer of the West Bengal cadre, served there since inception until retirement, and has always lived in the state. So the ‘convenience’ of the officer must be considered than the convenience of the central government.
The central government was irked at how the former West Bengal Chief Secretary showed disrespect to the Prime Minister and indulged in dereliction of duties during a review meeting on the cyclone in May last year.
The gory episode happened on May 28, 2021, during the Prime Minister’s visit to the state to review the damage caused by cyclone Yaas. Chief Minister Banerjee had also avoided the meeting, and so did her Chief Secretary.
Besides, chances of being sent behind bars, under service rules, employment and post-retirement benefits like pension could be withheld if found guilty.
The ex-Chief Secretary was served a show-cause notice under Section 51 of the National Disaster Management Act, to which he replied on June 3, 2021. The government had noted that Alapan’s earlier response/answer was not satisfactory.
It is felt widely that the centre had no other option but to initiate disciplinary actions as there was also a violation of the Disaster
Bandyopadhyay is a renowned Man Friday of Chief Minister Banerjee, and after he opted for retirement, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Chief Minister’s office.