Following up on it’s show cause notice, the Center has started penalty proceedings against ex-chief secretary of West Bengal Alapan Bandyopadhyay alleged misconduct and misbehavior. A memorandum sent to the newly appointed advisor to West Bengal chief minister by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has asked Bandyopadhyay to respond within 30 days on the charges made against him. The former chief secretary has been warned of major penalty proceedings that allows the central government to withhold pension or gratuity, or both, either in full or in part, officials said.
“Shri Alapan Bandyopadhyay is hereby informed that the central government proposes to hold major penalty proceedings against him under Rule 8 of the All India Services (discipline and appeals) rule, 1969 read with rule 6 of All India Services (death cum retirement benefits) rule 1958," the memorandum read.
Rule 8 of All India service (discipline and appeals) deals with procedure for imposing major penalties. “8(2) Whenever the disciplinary authority is of the opinion that there are grounds for inquiring into the truth of any imputation of misconduct or misbehaviour against a member of the Service, it may appoint under this rule or under the provisions of the Public Servants (Inquiries) Act 1850, as the case may be, an authority to inquire into the truth thereof," rule 8 sub-section 2 states.
Sub-sections of this rule detail the procedures to follow for an enquiry. According to officials, under this rule, employment and post-retirement benefits like pension could be withheld if found guilty.
Rule 6 of All India Service (death cum retirement benefits) deals with recovery of pension. “The central government reserves the right of withholding a pension or gratuity, permanently or for a specified time, if the pensioner has been found guilty of misconduct," rule 6(1) states.
Officials said, the DoPT issued the mono after finding Bandyopadhyay prima facie guilty of indiscipline. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had also sent him a show cause notice for violating the Disaster Management Act, which is a criminal offence. However, the current notice by the Center is under charges of indiscipline.
According to the memorandum from Center, if Bandyopadhyay does not respond within 30 days he will face inquiry. The former chief secretary has been asked to respond whether he pleads guilty to the charges or not. “Shri Alapan Bandyopadhyay is directed to submit within 30 days, in a written statement whether he wants to be heard in person," the letter sent to Bandyopadhyay on June 16 stated.