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For 15-min ‘delay’ at PM’s meet, Centre throws rulebook at Bengal Chief Secy

Deepening the row between the Centre and West Bengal, the Ministry of Residence Affairs (MHA) has issued a show-cause discover to Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who retired because the state Chief Secretary Monday, for reporting 15 minutes late to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cyclone assessment assembly on Might 28.

Bandyopadhyay was with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she determined to skip the Cyclone Yaas assembly in Kalaikunda.

Sources stated the discover was issued late Monday beneath the Catastrophe Administration Act and, if transformed to a statutory case, might end in imprisonment extending as much as two years. A reply has been sought from Bandyopadhyay inside three days.

Late Monday night time, the Division of Personnel and Coaching too served discover on Bandyopadhyay for failing to report back to Delhi — the Centre had requisitioned his companies on Might 28, after the assessment assembly episode, and simply days after approving his tenure extension by three months. The DoPT is the cadre-controlling authority for the IAS.

Bandyopadhyay opted for retirement on Might 31, and was named Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister.

The discover drew sharp reactions from the ruling TMC. Get together MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy stated: “Present trigger discover served upon former Chief Secretary of Bengal is void ab initio inasmuch as no route was issued to him beneath Sec.51 (a) or (b) of the Catastrophe Administration Act. As such the query of violation thereof doesn’t come up. Cease such blatant acts of vengeance. This discover isn’t solely unlawful but in addition an act of revenge.”

However BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, in a Twitter submit, stated: “I demand strictest motion be taken in opposition to the outgoing CS for indiscipline, violating service guidelines at a time of a pure catastrophe and a world pandemic, irregularities, and never serving to others simply due to sinister political video games. TMC has failed the individuals of West Bengal.”

“Looting tax payer cash is TMC’s favorite interest. Outgoing CS and now “advisor” to (non-MLA) CM @MamataOfficial will get pleasure from a snug wage of Rs. 2.5 lakhs per thirty days and soft perks. Absolutely, there are higher methods to spend the hard-earned cash of the taxpayers,” Adhikari stated.

Warning the BJP chief, TMC’s Tapas Roy stated: “He ought to know first, then ought to give an announcement. In any other case, we’ll drag him to court docket.”

In its discover, the MHA stated that on Might 28, when the Prime Minister arrived at Kalaikunda Air Power Station for a scheduled assessment assembly with Chief Minister Banerjee and Bandyopadhyay, they weren’t there.

“Prime Minister and different members of his entourage waited for practically 15 minutes for the officers of the State Authorities to reach. In view of the absence, Chief Secretary was referred to as by an official as to whether or not they needed to take part within the assessment assembly or not. Thereafter, Chief Secretary, Authorities of West Bengal, arrived, together with the Chief Minister of West Bengal, contained in the assembly room and left thereafter instantly,” the discover acknowledged.

Via “this act of abstaining himself from the assessment assembly”, Bandyopadhyay, it acknowledged, had “acted in a fashion tantamount to refusing to adjust to lawful instructions of the Central Authorities and is thus violative of Part 51 (b) of the Catastrophe Administration Act, 2005.”

He has been requested to answer inside three days on why motion shouldn’t be taken in opposition to him beneath the Act.

In response to the discover, the part of the Act is relevant because the Prime Minister is chairperson of the Nationwide Catastrophe Administration Authority (NDMA). The discover has been issued by the MHA for the reason that Union Residence Secretary is chairman of the Nationwide Government Committee on Catastrophe Administration.

Part 51 (B) of the Catastrophe Administration Act says, “Whoever, with out cheap trigger refuses to adjust to any route given by or on behalf of the Central Authorities or the State Authorities or the Nationwide Government Committee or the State Government Committee or the District Authority beneath this Act, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a time period which can prolong to at least one yr or with high quality, or with each, and if such obstruction or refusal to adjust to instructions ends in lack of lives or imminent hazard thereof, shall on conviction be punishable with imprisonment for a time period which can prolong to 2 years.”

This isn’t the primary time that serving officers have been on the centre of a spat between the Central authorities and West Bengal. The Centre had summoned three IPS officers from the state to Delhi following an assault on a convoy of BJP president JP Nadda in Howrah in December 2020. The officers had been accountable for legislation and order within the area the place Nadda’s convoy got here beneath assault. The state didn’t enable the officers to report back to the Centre and the matter has been pending.

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