Kolkata, October 29 (PTI): The Calcutta High Court set aside Friday an order of the principal bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to transfer an application by former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, challenging proceedings against him by Centre, from the Kolkata bench to itself in New Delhi.
A division bench comprising justices Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya and Rabindranath Samanta directed the Kolkata bench of the CAT to expedite the hearing of Bandopadhyay’s application and dispose of it at the earliest.
Alapon Bandopadhyay had moved the Kolkata bench of CAT, challenging the proceedings initiated against him by the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievance and Pensions relating to attending a meeting May 28 at the Kalaikunda Air Force station that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the effects of ‘Cyclone Yaas’.
The senior counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the ‘Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) took permission from the Prime Minister to excuse herself and the writ petitioner (Alapan Bandopadhyay, who was then the chief secretary of West Bengal) from the meeting to continue her pre-scheduled survey of other cyclone-affected areas of the state’, the division bench noted in its order.
It was further submitted that the Union Government had on the same evening communicated to the West Bengal government to release the petitioner with immediate effect and asked him to report to New Delhi May 31.
Bandopadhyay, who was not released by the state government, chose to retire May 31, his original date of superannuation prior to having been given an extension of three months from that date.
Proceedings were initiated against Bandopadhyay by the Union Government and an inquiry authority was appointed in this regard, which fixed a preliminary hearing October 18 in New Delhi.
The petitioner then moved the Kolkata bench of the CAT, challenging the proceedings against him. The Union Government filed a transfer petition before the principal bench of CAT, which October 22 allowed the transfer of Bandopadhyay’s application to itself in New Delhi.
This order was challenged by Bandopadhyay before the Calcutta High Court.
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