Bizarre, disturbing, bending of rules: former top bureaucrats slam Centre on Bengal Chief Secy case

Calling it “unprecedented”, “disturbing” and a “disregard for guidelines”, former top bureaucrats on Tuesday criticised the Centre’s actions within the case of former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

Talking to The Indian Specific, former Cupboard Secretary B Okay Chaturvedi, former Secretary of the DoPT (the cadre controlling ministry for IAS officers) Satyanand Misra and former Residence Secretary G Okay Pillai stated the episode units a nasty precedent and would demotivate civil servants.

“That is maybe the primary time within the historical past of unbiased India {that a} Secretary-level officer is being posted on the Centre someday earlier than retirement. The order is completely irregular. And to say {that a} Secretary-level officer should report back to Delhi by 10 am (on a specific day) is simply unheard of. The becoming a member of time is generally six days plus travelling time for all bureaucrats. That the DoPT Secretary agreed to subject such an order says lots in regards to the state Indian paperwork is in,” Pillai stated.

Bandyopadhyay finds himself caught in a tussle between the Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee governments for the reason that Chief Minister selected to skip a evaluate assembly over Cyclone Yaas held by the Prime Minister. Within the newest order, the Ministry of Residence Affairs Monday slapped a showcause discover on Bandyopadhyay below the Catastrophe Administration (DM) Act for arriving quarter-hour late for the PM’s assembly.

Pillai expressed shock over the most recent discover. “In my lengthy profession, I didn’t come throughout any such priority. That too for lacking a gathering! Each the orders are weird. No different phrase can categorical it,” the former Residence Secretary stated.

Chaturvedi stated the PM seems to have been suggested poorly. “It’s evident the Authorities of India was of the view that Bandyopadhyay’s continuance within the state was necessary or else he wouldn’t have been given an extension of service (when Banerjee utilized for a similar, earlier than his retirement). However then one other order to report back to the Centre was issued. Clearly it exhibits they have been dissatisfied along with his conduct. Nonetheless, it’s not such a factor for which such orders are handed. It takes away the religion of the civil service within the rule of regulation. The PM has not been suggested correctly on this matter,” Chaturvedi stated.

He stated provisions for central deputation require the officer and the state to offer their consent. “A session is completed, and if the Centre isn’t happy with a state’s causes to not relieve the officer, it could actually insist. However that doesn’t imply the session course of itself must be achieved away with,” Chaturvedi stated.

Misra, former secretary of the Division of Personnel and Coaching (DoPT), feared the episode would demotivate offcers. “It is a very disturbing improvement. Youthful officers will get demotivated. We should perceive that the civil service was conceived primarily to serve in states. Solely those that are prepared come to the Centre. In case you set a precedent that whoever you might be indignant with shall be known as to the Centre, how will bureaucrats work?” Misra stated.

He additionally questioned the style during which Bandyopadhyay was known as to the Centre. “To ask such a senior officer to come back and report with none posting… to do what? And he had simply been given a three-month extension. Beneath the principles, he would stay in service provided that he remained chief secretary of West Bengal, not on the Centre,” Misra stated.

On the Centre’s DM Act discover to Bandyopadhyay, Misra stated it was ” silly”. “It could be a violation of the DM Act if an order to attend that assembly had been issued below the DM Act.”

A former residence secretary stated the intent of the DM Act was to punish real dereliction of obligation with regard to a catastrophe. “As residence secretary we labored with CMs who had variations of opinion. There was give and take. Generally you take heed to the CM, typically you may have your means. It’s important to have that mutual respect. In the end additionally, you will want the state,” he stated.

Calling the episode an instance of politics overriding decency, a former bureaucrat stated, “An officer who has given 30 years of service doesn’t anticipate to be handled like this. It’s going to turn into very tough for any bureaucrat to work freely.”

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