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Justice Talwant Singh Recuses From Alapan Bandyopadhyay's Plea Challenging CAT's Order Transferring His Case To Delhi

Nupur Thapliyal
16 Feb 2022 8:30 AM GMT
Justice Talwant Singh Recuses From Alapan Bandyopadhyays Plea Challenging CATs Order Transferring His Case To Delhi
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Justice Talwant Singh of the Delhi High Court on Wednesday recused from hearing a plea filed by Former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, challenging the order passed by Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench which had transferred his petition filed before the Kolkata Bench to the Principal Bench at New Delhi.The matter, which was earlier heard by a single bench...

Justice Talwant Singh of the Delhi High Court on Wednesday recused from hearing a plea filed by Former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, challenging the order passed by Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench which had transferred his petition filed before the Kolkata Bench to the Principal Bench at New Delhi.

The matter, which was earlier heard by a single bench was transferred to a division bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Talwant Singh.

"List this matter on February 25, 2022 before a bench which does not comprise of Hon'ble Justice Talwant Singh subject to orders of Hon'ble Chief Justice," Justice Shakdher ordered today.

About The Petition

The petition filed through Advocate Kunal Mimani states that the impugned order was passed in complete violation of the principles of natural justice, equity and fair play as Bandyopadhyay was not even granted a right to file its written objections to the Transfer Petition.

"The Petitioner is the former Chief Secretary to the Government of West Bengal and retired on 31st May, 2021. The Petitioner ordinarily and permanently resides in Kolkata. Therefore, the Petitioner had an unqualified rights under Rule 6(2) of the Central Administrative Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 1987 to file the Original Application before the Kolkata Bench," the plea states.

Background

The facts of the case revolved around disciplinary proceedings initiated against Bandyopadhyay on his failure to attend a review meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of India for assessing the loss of life and damage to infrastructure caused by the cyclone 'YAAS'.

He therefore challenged the disciplinary proceedings before the Calcutta bench of Central Administrative Tribunal but on a request made by central government, the Principal Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal in New Delhi transferred the original application filed by the then Chief Secretary from Calcutta CAT branch to New Delhi by exercising powers bestowed on the Chairman of the tribunal through sec. 25 of the Administrative Tribunals Act, 1985.

Bandhopadhyay had filed a writ petition before the Calcutta High Court challenging the transfer order passed by the CAT Principal Bench. The Calcutta High Court set aside the Principal Bench's order, against which the Union approached the Supreme Court.

The High Court had allowed the writ petition by holding that a part of the cause of action had arisen within its jurisdiction and hence it had jurisdiction under Article 226(2) of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar had then set aside the judgment of the Calcutta High Court by holding that the High Court lacked territorial jurisdiction to set aside the transfer order passed by CAT Principal Bench at New Delhi

It declared that the High Court at Calcutta had usurped its jurisdiction in setting aside the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi and hence declared its order void ab initio and continued to set it aside.

However, the Apex Court gave liberty to the respondent to challenge the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal before the High Court that had the territorial jurisdiction on the same.

Therefore, the petition was filed in the Delhi High Court.

Case Title: Alapan Bandyopadhyay v. Union of India & Anr.

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