Centre may have recalled Bengal chief secretary amid row with state, but Mamata may refuse to play ball: Experts

Former high bureaucrats and authorized consultants imagine that the central authorities’s order recalling West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to Delhi, on the day he was slated to retire, may be one which the Centre finds laborious to implement because the state authorities is inside its rights to refuse his launch.

The order got here inside hours after a political row erupted on Friday over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee curbing her assembly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the post-cyclone scenario in her state to simply quarter-hour, and inside days of one other central order extending Bandyopadhyay’s tenure by three months to assist fight the Covid pandemic within the state.

“The state may properly ship a politely drafted reply to the order stating the All-India Service guidelines which govern such transfers,” stated Jawhar Sircar, a former secretary to the Authorities of India.

He stated it’s troublesome for the Centre to unilaterally switch an IAS or IPS officer, who will not be beneath its management but that of one other authorities throughout the federation.

In accordance to rule 6(1) of the AIS on deputation of all India service officers, an officer on the rolls of a sure state may be deputed to the Centre or one other state or a PSU with the concurrence of the involved state.

“In case of any disagreement, the matter shall be determined by the central authorities and the state authorities or state governments involved shall give impact to the choice of the central authorities,” the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Guidelines, 1954, point out. Nevertheless, the issue for the central authorities is that it neither requested for West Bengal’s consent nor of Banyopadhyay, thought-about important for such a switch.

The switch directive was seen by many quarters as a sign of vindictiveness by the Centre, after the chief minister on Saturday appealed to “PM Modi to finish political vendetta, withdraw order recalling Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, and permit him to work for the Covid-infected”.

BJP MLA and Chief of opposition within the West Bengal Meeting, Suvendu Adhikari, nonetheless, alleged at a digital press convention that the chief secretary had damaged protocol on the assessment assembly, and as per the Structure, the switch was truthful.

Sircar stated the West Bengal authorities may additionally search authorized cures by means of the Central Administrative Tribunal or the Excessive Court docket and although the Centre was believed to have filed caveats in each the platforms, “that is the treatment which widespread sense would dictate”.

“Except for politics, the order issued by the Centre doesn’t stand the check of legislation because the central authorities didn’t receive the state’s approval or the officer’s willingness for central deputation,” stated a former secretary rating officer from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service. He identified that as a substitute the Centre got here up with a unilateral order that neither mentions the submit to which Bandyopadhyay is being appointed to nor the tenure.

Earlier, related unilateral orders transferring three IPS officers from West Bengal weren’t accepted by the state authorities. Just a few years in the past, Tamil Nadu had additionally equally refused to relieve its Director Basic of Police when ordered to report to Delhi.

One other former chief secretary of West Bengal stated “the operation of any proviso to a rule (which permits central directives to prevail) occurs solely after the substantive a part of the rule is given impact to, which is prior concurrence earlier than issuance of an order”, and added “these procedures have been clearly laid down. Any departure from this follow wants to be defined”.

Questioning the propriety of the choice to switch Bandyopadhyay, senior advocate Arunabha Ghosh stated that if the chief minister decides not to give the discharge order instantly, it will create a authorized complication. Ghosh stated the chief secretary is beneath the direct management of the CM. “The Centre can do it (switch Bandyopadhyay) beneath the rule, but there’s timing… Will an Military common be eliminated in the midst of a struggle?” he stated.

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