Former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay on Tuesday challenged before the Calcutta High Court a decision of the principal bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to transfer an application filed by him to itself from the Calcutta bench on a prayer by the Union government. The retired IAS officer challenged administrative proceedings against him by the Government of India alleging his failure to attend a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May on the aftermath of super cyclone 'Yaas' as the then chief secretary of West Bengal, before the Calcutta bench of CAT.
On a prayer by the Union government for transfer of the case from the Calcutta bench, the principal bench of CAT ordered that Bandopadhyay's application will be heard by it. Challenging this order for transfer of the case, Bandopadhyay filed an appeal before the Calcutta High Court.
His lawyers appearing before a division bench of the high court on Tuesday sought its intervention, claiming that the balance of convenience favours that the applicant, in this case a retired IAS officer based in the city, be heard at the regional bench here. Bandopadhyay had opted to retire on May 31, his original superannuation date, despite having been granted a three-month extension.
He was appointed chief adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the same day after the state government refused to release him to the Centre, which had directed him to report to New Delhi's North Block. State secretariat sources had said that in a reply to a show cause notice by the Centre on the issue, Bandopadhyay had pointed out that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whom the chief secretary had accompanied to the meeting chaired by the prime minister at Kalaikunda, had taken permission for both to leave and attend an urgent meeting at Digha on the after-effects of the cyclone.