West Bengal's former Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay has been served with a show-cause notice by the centre, hours before he retired on May 31st.
Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the former Chief Secretary of West Bengal, was served with a show-cause notice from the Union Home Ministry, just a few hours before he retired. They have served the notice under Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act. 2005. This can lead to imprisonment of up to two years or a fine or both.
This section applies under "punishment for obstruction". Bandyopadhyay had refused to submit to a direction given by the central government. The Home Ministry has asked him to provide a statement in writing as an answer to "Why action should not be taken against him". Here, the action refers to Section 51 under the DM Act.
They served the notice to the CS of Bengal, mere hours before he retired on May 31st. Alapan Bandyopadhyay had refused an extension of three months sanctioned by both state and central government. On 31st of May, the Department of Personnel and Training had asked him to abide by the order of 28th May. The latter required Bandyopadhyay to report to the central government's office in Delhi.
Why Was The Notice Served?
On May 28th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the cyclone-affected region of Kalaikunda, West Bengal. Alapan Bandyopadhyay had abstained himself from the review meeting that was taking place on the spot. The Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary had arrived fifteen minutes late at a scheduled meeting in Kalaikunda. They kept the Prime Minister and the members of his entourage waiting.
The notice further said that "In view of the absence, the Chief Secretary was called by an official whether they wanted to take part in the review meeting or not. Thereafter, the Chief Secretary arrived, along with the Chief Minister, inside the meeting room and left thereafter immediately,”
The officer's act of 'abstaining' himself from the meeting had led to the violation of the Section 51 (b) of the DM Act.