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HC stays CAT transfer of Alapan’s case to Delhi

Officers of the Hare Street police station today launched an investigation into the alleged death threat to Alapan Bandopadhyay. The death threat letter was posted to Bandopadhyay’s wife,

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

A Division Bench of Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and Justice Rabindranath Samanta of Calcutta High Court today suspended the judgment in the case of chief minister  Mamata Banerjee’s chief advisor and former state chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhayay challenging a decision of transferring a case he has filed before Central Administrative Tribunal Bench to the principal Bench of the CAT in Delhi.

The Union government had served a notice on Bandopadhayay asking him why he had not attended a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kalaikunda on 28 May. Bandyopadhyay the then chief secretary had replied that only the state government where the IAS officer was posted has the jurisdiction to carry out an enquiry into the conduct of the officer.

But department of personnel and training of the Union government set up an enquiry committee against him and asked him to appear before it in the national Capital. Bandopadhayay had challenged it at CAT, Kolkata but DoPT had moved the principal Bench of CAT in Delhi urging it to shift it and it was granted.

Bandopadhyay’s counsel said that the matter was heard in the CAT on 22 October but getting the notice on 21 October they did not have sufficient time to prepare their reply. The court asked the counsel of DoPT whether he did not think the step denied the petitioner an opportunity of getting justice. The court further asked what was the reason behind the CAT’s haste and asked how did the CAT chairman know all information about the matter as he was in Delhi.

Was the CAT chairman aware just as a long vacation was on here, the court was in session and many counsels were attending it, the court asked. It was not right to refer to a long vacation as a reason behind the transfer of the matter, it was pointed out.

Bandopadhyay was issued a show-cause notice by the central government under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 following the fiasco during the review meeting chaired by Modi and attended briefly by Miss Banerjee on 28 May in the aftermath of cyclone Yaas to assess the damages.

The DoPT informed Bandopadhyay that the central government proposes to hold major penalty proceedings against him under All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules.

Meanwhile, officers of the Hare Street police station today launched an investigation into the alleged death threat to Alapan Bandopadhyay. Bandopadhyay’s family members lodged a complaint with the police after a letter threatening to kill him was received by his wife Sonali Chakraborty Bandopadhyay, vice-chancellor of Calcutta University, yesterday.

Lalbazar sources said, a case under various sections of IPC including section 170 impersonating public servant, section 500 punishment for defamation and section 506 punishment for criminal intimidation against unknown persons. The death threat letter was posted to Bandopadhyay’s wife, addressing her, which read: “Your husband will be killed, no body can save the life of your husband.”

The letter containing the death threat was allegedly signed by one Gourhari Mishra and sent at the behest of Mahua Ghosh, a professor of chemical technology department of Rajabazar Science College.