The Centre has initiated disciplinary proceedings for ‘misconduct and misbehaviour’ against former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay over the evasion of his summons to the central government offices in Delhi, news agency PTI reported on Monday, 21 June.
According to news agency ANI, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has informed Bandyopadhyay that the central government proposes to hold major penalty proceedings against him under All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.
The DoPT has also asked the former West Bengal chief secretary to submit a written statement in his defence and state if he desired to be heard in person within 30 days. Additionally, the ministry said that in case of no reply from him, the inquiry authority may hold an inquiry against him ex-parte, ANI reported.
WHAT HAD HAPPENED?
The Government of India on 28 May had asked the West Bengal government to relieve Bandyopadhyay for further posting at the Centre.
This came on the day when a fresh row had erupted between the BJP and CM Mamata Banerjee over PM Modi’s meeting on Cyclone ‘Yaas’.
Bandyopadhyay was due to retire on 31 May 2020, but had received a three-month extension from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) on a request from the state government, which had asserted his key role in the management of the COVID situation in the state.
However, after Bandyopadhyay failed to be present on Monday morning, the Centre sent a reminder to Bandyopadhyay to report to the Personnel Ministry in Delhi at 10 am on Tuesday, failing which disciplinary action would be initiated against him.
The same day, Banerjee had written to PM Modi, saying that the state government “cannot release, and is not releasing its chief secretary at this critical hour.”
Hours later on the same day, Chief Minister Banerjee announced that Bandyopadhyay retired as chief secretary and he was appointed as her chief advisor.
Bandyopadhyay was also served a show-cause notice by the Home Ministry for his absence from the Cyclone ‘Yaas’ review meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Bengal.
The Centre’s notice was served under the Disaster Management Act and had directed Bandopadhyay to respond within three days as to why action should not be taken against him under Section 51 of the Act.
Responding to the Centre’s show-cause notice on 3 June, Bandyopadhyay asserted that he was acting as per the directive of Chief Minister Banerjee when he left the meeting to review the impact of Cyclone ‘Yaas’ in Digha town in Purba Medinipur district, PTI reported.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)
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