The Centre sent a reminder to West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay who "retired" on Monday to report to the Personnel Ministry in Delhi at 10 am on Tuesday, failing which disciplinary action would be initiated against him, officials said. They said the reminder was sent after the officer failed to report here on Monday in response to an order issued by the ministry placing his services with the Government of India.
Amid the political slugfest over the issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said Bandyopadhyay has "retired" and he has been appointed as her adviser for three years. She had earlier in the day written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to rescind the Centre's order recalling Bandyopadhyay, and said her government was "not releasing" the top bureaucrat.
She said the central government had asked Bandopadhyay to report to Delhi's North Block on Tuesday, but added an officer cannot join a new office without permission from the state administration. "The CS got a letter from the Centre asking him to join North Block by tomorrow. This is not a reply to my letter but to the CS. I have not received any reply from it to the letter which I had sent earlier today," she told newspersons in Kolkata.
Sources in Delhi said necessary disciplinary proceedings will be initiated against the officer in case he fails to report in Delhi on Tuesday. "A show-cause notice can also be issued to him seeking his explanation as to why he did not join, a source explained.
The Personnel Ministry had on May 28 sought services of Bandyopadhyay and asked the state government to relieve the officer immediately. Bandyopadhyay, who was scheduled to retire on Monday after completion of 60 years of age, was recently given a three-month extension. His extension was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the prime minister.
In a communique to the state government, the Personnel Ministry on Friday said the ACC has approved the placement of the services of Bandyopadhyay with Government of India as per provisions of Rule 6(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, "with immediate effect". While asking the state government to relieve the officer with immediate effect, it also directed Bandyopadhyay to report to the Department of Personnel and Training, North Block, New Delhi by 10 am on May 31.
The officer did not report on Monday, following which another letter was issued in which the state government was advised to relieve him with immediate effect and he was directed to report to the DoPT, North Block, New Delhi by 10 AM on June 1, 2021, officials said, citing details of the communiqu. Rule 6 (1) of the IAS cadre rules says 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.
"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.