Several big bureaucrats, including former cabinet secretary and former secretary, have been wronged by the central government’s decision to issue notice to former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and summon Delhi for not being present in the meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Former IAS officers have described the Modi government’s decision as unprecedented, disturbing and disregarding the rules.
The Indian Express spoke to former Home Secretary GK Pillai, former Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi and former Secretary of DoPT (Ministry of Civil Services Officers) Satyanand Mishra regarding the Alapan Bandyopadhyay case. The three senior bureaucrats said about the decision of the central government that it does not set a good example for the officers and it will disappoint the civil service officers.
Former Home Secretary GK Pillai said on this issue that for the first time in the history of independent India, a secretary-level officer was ordered to be posted at the centre a day before retirement. He also expressed surprise over the decision to report Delhi before 10 pm, saying that this had never happened before. Generally, officers of the Civil Services are given at least six days to join the duty at some other place.
Apart from this, GK Pillai also expressed surprise over the decision of DoPT to transfer to Delhi. Pillai said the DoPT secretary agreeing to issue such an order shows that there is a lot in the Indian bureaucracy. At the same time, Pillai said that I have never seen in my career that a notice has been issued because of absenteeism in the meeting.
On the other hand, former cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi said that Prime Minister Modi’s advisors seem to have given him wrong advice. Chaturvedi said that if the Government of India had extended the service of Alapan Bandyopadhyay by three months on the application of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it meant that his continuance in West Bengal was important. But it is not right to issue such a notice after being aggrieved by the conduct of Alapan. This creates trustlessness among civil service officers.
Satyanand Mishra, former secretary of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), also raised questions on the methods of the central government. Satyanand Mishra said that the civil service was conceived primarily to serve in the states. Only those who are willing to come to the centre come and work in the centre. But if an officer is angry with him and called to the centre, then in this situation the officer will be able to do such work.
He further said that Alapan Bandyopadhyay was called to the centre without any posting, after all, that the government wanted. He was given an extension of three months, as he had to stay in the state, but despite this, he was ordered to be called to the centre. Apart from this, he said that notice was issued under the Disaster Management Act only because of not attending the meeting. It was a very stupid move. If a meeting is called under the Disaster Management Act, only then notice can be issued this Act for absenteeism.
Let us inform that on Friday, Prime Minister Modi had called a meeting in Kalaikunda, West Bengal to review the cyclone storm. In this meeting, former Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had arrived 15 minutes late and left the meeting immediately. In fact, Mamta Banerjee left the meeting due to the presence of Union ministers and the leader of the opposition party in the meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Alapan also left with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Later, Alapan was issued a notice by the Central Government for not attending the meeting and ordered to be summoned to Delhi. But Alapan retired from the post of Chief Secretary on Monday itself and Mamta Banerjee appointed him as her Chief Advisor.