New Delhi: West Bengal's controversial bureaucrat, who enjoys the patronage of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, ex-Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, is likely to appear before the probe panel set up by the centre on Monday, October 18.
The Centre has set up an inquiry committee to find out whether Alapan Bandyopadhyay, now 'chief advisor' to the chief minister, had violated service rules and norms by "not attending a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi" at Kalaikunda on May 28.
The committee reportedly asked Bandyopadhyay to appear in Delhi on Monday, but Trinamool sources have been talking about the possibilities of 'challenging' such summons. Mr Bandyopadhyay has, of course, avoided making any comment.
In these cases, the officials and retired personnel often approach the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) against the order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the government of India.
The Home Ministry had earlier served a show-cause notice to the retired chief secretary. The central government was irked at how the former West Bengal Chief Secretary showed disrespect to the Prime Minister and indulged in dereliction of duties.
"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," an official memorandum said earlier.
Bandyopadhyay had walked away from the venue along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from the 'review meeting' on cyclone Yaas – which was to be attended by the Prime Minister. The gory episode happened on May 28, 2021, during the Prime Minister's visit to the state to review the damage caused by cyclone Yaas.
Chief Minister Ms Banerjee had avoided the meeting, and so did her Chief Secretary, a senior IAS officer of the 1987 batch.
Besides chances of being sent behind bars, under service rules, employment and post-retirement benefits like pension could be withheld if found guilty. The government had noted that Alapan's earlier response/answer was not satisfactory.
It is felt widely that the centre had no other option but to initiate disciplinary actions as there was also a violation of the Disaster Management Act.
Bandyopadhyay is a renowned Man Friday of Chief Minister Banerjee, and after he opted for retirement, he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Chief Minister's office.