Centre begins action against ex-chief secy
The Centre has initiated disciplinary proceedings against former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, now an adviser to chief minister Mamata Banerjee, that could cost him his pensionary benefits if the charges against him are proven, people familiar with the matter said.
The fresh show-cause notice – he has been given 30 days to respond – was issued on June 16, nearly a fortnight after the Union home ministry threatened to initiate action against him for missing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting in the aftermath of cyclone Yaas.
In a memo issued to Bandyopadhyay, the Centre said that it proposed to hold major penalty proceedings against him under Rule 8 of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) 1969 and Rule 6 of All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement benefits) Rules, 1958. According to the rules, the Centre, which has initiated major penalty proceedings against the 1984 batch IAS officer, can withhold “pension or gratuity, or both, either in full or in part, whether permanently or for a specified period”.
The controversy erupted after the chief minister and Bandyopadhyay skipped a meeting held by the PM on May 28 to review the post-cyclonic situation. The same day, the Centre ordered Bandyopadhyay to report to North Block by May 31 for his next assignment. The CM requested the PM to withdraw the order but when the Centre reiterated its transfer order, Bandyopadhyay opted for retirement rather than avail the three-month extension granted to him. He was appointed the CM’s chief advisor on a three-year term.
TMC leader Saugata Roy said, “The letter shows how inhuman the Modi government is. Alapan lost his brother and mother recently...The Centre cannot take any action against him under service conduct rules...He can always move the court...”