Delhi HC dismisses former WB chief secy challenge to transfer of CAT proceedings

New Delhi, Mar 7 (PTI) The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s challenge to the transfer of his application concerning proceedings against him from Kolkata to New Delhi by the Central Administrative Tribunal [CAT].
A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Jyoti Singh said there was no reason to interfere with the transfer, and clarified that it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the proceedings against him.
Bandyopadhyay had moved the Kolkata bench of the CAT to challenge the proceedings initiated against him in a matter related to not attending a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the effects of cyclone ‘Yaas’ at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station on May 28 last year.
The proceedings against the petitioner were initiated by the Union Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievance and Pensions.
Counsel for the petitioner had argued that the transfer order was passed in complete violation of the principles of natural justice, equity and fair play as he was not even granted a right to file his written objections and the Centre’s plea was allowed on the very first day of its listing.
He had claimed that convenience of the officer has to be considered while issuing the order, the petitioner ordinarily and permanently resides in Kolkata, and the entire cause of action occurred within the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Bench of CAT.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, had said till the time proceedings are virtual, it does not matter if it happens in Kolkata or Delhi, and the court can record his request or joint request that the hearing shall be held virtually before the CAT.
Bandyopadhyay, who was not released by the state government, chose to retire on May 31, 2021, his original date of superannuation before having been given an extension of three months from that date.
The Union Government had filed a transfer petition before the principal bench of CAT, which on October 22 last year allowed the transfer of Bandyopadhyay’s application to itself in New Delhi.
On January 6, the Supreme Court had set aside a Calcutta High Court order which quashed the CAT transfer order and granted Bandyopadhyay the liberty to assail the same before the jurisdictional high court.
The apex court had delivered its verdict on a plea filed by the Centre challenging the October 29, 2021 order of the Calcutta High Court.
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