Alapan Bandyopadhyay’s Case: Delhi High Court Dismisses Plea Challenging CAT’s Order Transferring Case to Delhi from Kolkata

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Tanya Gupta

Published on: March 7, 2022 at 18:41 IST

In the case of Alapan Bandyopadhyay Vs. Union of India, the Plea filed by Former West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, challenged the Order passed by Central Administrative Tribunal, Principal Bench to transfer his Petition filed before Kolkata Bench to the Principal Bench was dismissed by Delhi High Court.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh saw no reason to overturn the Contested Order.

Nevertheless, no opinion on the Disciplinary Proceedings has been issued by the Court. A detailed decision is awaited.

The Order was reserved by the Bench last month.

Advocate Kunal Mimani, Counsel for Bandyopadhyay filed a Plea that the contested Order Violates the Principles of Natural Justice stating that he was barred from filing Written Objections to Transfer the Petition.

Advocate Kartikey Bhatt argued that the Accessibility of an Officer is the primary consideration when a Transfer is sought.

Since Bandyopadhyay is a Retired Official from West Bengal Cadre and has always lived in West Bengal, he is Justified to exercise his Right in OA filed Before Central Administrative Tribunal’s Kolkata Bench.

The Petitioner also submitted that it is not a valid ground to transfer the case just because the Union of India is based in Delhi.

On the other hand, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to the Supreme Court’s decision in 2020 17 SCC 602 that this Power of Transfer is an Administrative Power. Further, the Solicitor General stated that the Chairman of the Central Administrative Tribunal provided compelling reasons for the Transfer.

Solicitor General stated that accessibility of Officers is not Primary Consideration and is completely irrelevant.

Bandyopadhyay’s Writ Petition challenging his Disciplinary Proceedings before Central Administrative Tribunal’s Kolkata Bench was allowed by the Kolkata High Court.

Thereafter, Petition was filed by the Union of India in Apex Court, challenging Kolkata High Court’s order that nullified the Central Administrative Tribunal’s, Principal Bench (in Delhi) Transfer Order.

Apex Court set aside the Judgment of Kolkata High Court reiterating that the Kolkata High Court lacked Territorial Jurisdiction.

However, Supreme Court granted Respondent Liberty to challenge the Order of the Central Administrative Tribunal before the High Court that has Territorial Jurisdiction.

Hence, a Petition was filed before Delhi High Court.

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