The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday slammed the Centre for its decision to hold major "penalty proceedings" against former Chief Secretary of West Bengal Alapan Bandopadhyay, who is presently serving as the advisor to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, under All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.
TMC MP Saugata Roy alleged that the Central government is acting vindictively against the rules in the matter of Alapan Bandyopadhyay, stating that he is a retired official and not duty-bound to the Centre.
"It is a vindictive act against the rules. Alapan Bandyopadhyay is a retired official and is not bound by the rules and regulations of the Government of India. They are trying to pressurise him by pointing out that he tends to lose his pension and gratuity. It is a mean step to take," Saugata Roy told news agency ANI.
The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) on Monday informed Alapan Bandyopadhyay that the Central government proposes to hold major penalty proceedings against him under All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.
DoPT also asked the former West Bengal chief secretary to submit a written statement in his defence and state whether he desires to be heard in person within 30 days. And, in case of no reply from him, the inquiry authority may hold an inquiry against him ex parte.
Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's newly appointed Chief Advisor Alapan Bandyopadhyay had been issued a show-cause notice by the Central government under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 asking him to write within three days.
"Alapan Bandyopadhyay had to brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi and follow up. But when the Prime Minister arrived at the briefing he was not present. And after being contacted by the Prime Minister's entourage he came to the meeting room and left without attending the review meeting," official sources had told the news agency.
Another show-cause notice was served to Mr Bandyopadhyay for failing to report to the DoPT as directed by the central government.
The development took place after Mamata Banerjee had, along with the then state chief secretary, skipped the review meeting chaired by PM Modi on May 28 to review the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas. Alapan Bandyopadhyay was to retire on May 31 and had earlier been given a three months' extension.
The central government had on May 28 issued an order to recall Alapan Bandyopadhyay, and said the placement of his services with the government had been approved. The state government was asked to relieve the officer with immediate effect and he was directed to report to North Block by May 31.
Mamata Banerjee had on May 29 urged PM Modi to withdraw the Central government's order to recall Alapan Bandyopadhyay. Later on May 31, she said Mr Bandyopadhyay has retired from service and will not join in Delhi and had been made Chief Advisor to West Bengal Chief Minister.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)