Alapan Bandyopadhyay, whose tenure because the chief secretary of the West Bengal authorities expired on Monday, has been directed by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) to seem earlier than it on Tuesday. The controversy over the sudden recall of the IAS officer highlights the strained relations between the Centre and West Bengal authorities.
While the Centre has warned to take disciplinary motion in opposition to Bandyopadhyay for failing to report to the DOPT, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has appointed the IAS officer as her new chief advisor so as to forestall him from leaving the state.
The controversy round Alapan Bandyopadhyay
Alapan Bandyopadhyay, a 1987-cadre IAS officer, was serving because the chief secretary of the West Bengal authorities and his service time period was supposed to expire on May 31. On May 24, the state authorities had requested the Centre for extension of Bandyopadhyay’s tenure by three months, citing the essential position performed by him in the course of the administration of Cyclone Yaas and coronavirus pandemic within the state. The Centre agreed to the West Bengal authorities’s demand.
However, on May 28, the Centre directed Bandyopadhyay to report DOPT in Delhi on May 31, which has now been pushed to June 1. Calling the Centre’s determination as “unconstitutional” and “illegal”, CM Mamata Banerjee wrote to the Centre saying the state authorities “cannot release and is not releasing its chief secretary at this critical hour”.
While the CM requested the Centre to rescind the choice, the central authorities has not taken any determination on this route but.
She additionally introduced the appointment of Bandyopadhyay as a government advisor for 3 years to cease him from leaving for Delhi.
What led the Centre to recall Alapan Bandyopadhyay
It is being speculated that Bandopadhyay received caught within the tussle after he and CM Mamata Banerjee didn’t attend a overview assembly on Cylone Yaas with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, who had defeated her in Nandigram in the course of the latest meeting elections, was additionally current.
CM Banerjee and Bandopadhyay had skipped the scheduled meet at Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district on May 28. Later within the day, the 2 met the PM alone and submitted proposals for Rs 20,000 crore aid funds required for tackling the influence of the cyclone within the state.
The two had left Kalaikunda quickly after. While the BJP slammed the chief minister for snubbing the prime minister, she claimed that she and her chief secretary left the assembly after due permission from PM Modi as that they had to overview scenario in Digha.
Why the Centre’s recall order is uncommon
In case the Centre decides to recall an IAS officer from a state, the overall priority is that the officer or the state authorities or each are requested for his or her willingness to the proposal. In this case, neither the state authorities nor the officer confirmed willingness.
The preliminary extension to Bandopadhyay was given by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) itself, which incorporates Home Minister Amit Shah. The method by which the choice was reversed inside 4 days and two days earlier than the scheduled retirement of the officer, raised many eyebrows.
What if Bandyopadhyay would not report to DoPT?
The Department of Personnel and Training comes beneath the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievances and is beneath the direct cost of PM Modi. It is the cadre controlling authority for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
The DoPT holds the facility to concern a showcause discover to the officer looking for his rationalization. The future plan of action will likely be selected the officer’s response and his case for full pension can be taken solely after the matter is solved.
If the federal government decides to pursue the matter in opposition to the officer, the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, have provision for minor and main penalty that may be imposed on the officer.
The minor penalty contains censure, withholding of promotion, withholding of increments of pay and a discount to a decrease stage within the time scale of pay amongst others. The main penalty contains obligatory retirement and removing from service amongst others, in accordance to the foundations.
In case of Bandyopadhyay, the central order was issued by invoking Rule 6(1) of the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954. The rule states: “A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the state governments concerned and the central government, be deputed for service under the central government or another state government or under a company, association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the central government or by another state government.”
“Provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the central government and the state government or state governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the central government,” it says.
However, officers mentioned that Rule 6(1) is imprecise and that there exists a gray space in it because it would not seek the advice of with the state authorities obligatory and depart it open to interpretation.
What do the specialists say
According to experts, if a bureaucrat is posted with a state authorities, so as to act on a central deputation or take any motion on it, he has to search permission from the state authorities.
In such a scenario, the state authorities can refuse to comply with orders from the central authorities. The state authorities can even refuse to launch an officer posted within the state even if the Centre points summons.
Former IAS officer E A S Sarma mentioned although the IAS (Cadre) Rules empower the Centre to recall IAS officers from the state, such a recall needs to be primarily based on “justifiable grounds” and for “upholding the public interest”.
“Even while taking such a decision, the Centre is required to hold prior consultation with the State and, in the event of disagreement, the Centre should cite the extraordinary circumstances that justify such a recall,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Sarma additional mentioned it seems that the Centre has taken the choice in a “unilateral and summary manner”.
“If it is so, the order issued by the Centre will not stand the test of legality,” he mentioned in a letter to the prime minister.
“The Centre should not fall prey to personal egos and narrow considerations and compromise the spirit of cooperative federalism. The framers of the Indian Constitution never imagined that such situations would ever arise,” mentioned Sarma.
(With inputs from PTI)