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The power of a Chairman of the Tribunal under Section 25 of the Administrative Tribunal Act, 1985 is purely an administrative power: High Court Of Delhi

This Court is not adjudicating on the said issue as it is not the subject matter of the Transfer Petition was upheld by the High Court Of Delhi through the learned bench led by HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE JYOTI SINGH in the case of ALAPAN BANDYOPADHYAY
Vs UNION OF INDIA AND ANR
(W.P.(C) 1028/2022 & CM APPL.2892/2022) on MARCH 7th , 2022.

Brief facts of the case are that the petitioner joined IAS in 1987 and was allocated the West Bengal Cadre. Petitioner superannuated on 31.05.2021 and at the time of his superannuation was working as the Chief Secretary of the State of West Bengal. On 26.05.2021, a cyclone named as ‘YAAS’ had hit parts of West Bengal and Odisha. On 31.05.2021, a Show Cause Notice was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Petitioner for abstaining himself from a crucial review meeting chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 28.05.2021, for assessing loss of life and property and damage to the infrastructure caused by the cyclonic storm. On 16.06.2021, a major penalty charge sheet was issued to the Petitioner by the Respondents herein, for not attending the aforesaid meeting on 28.05.2021, as well as for not apprising the Hon’ble Prime Minister about the hardships and sufferings faced by the people of West Bengal, amongst other allegations mentioned in the statement of Articles of Charges and imputation of the alleged misconduct or misbehaviour.

Petitioner filed an application challenging the charge sheet dated 16.02.2021 and the consequential orders thereto appointing the Inquiring Authority, etc.

Respondents filed a Transfer Petition before the Tribunal, Principal Bench, under Section 25 of the 1985 Act, seeking transfer of the O.A. filed by the Petitioner, from Kolkata Bench to the Principal Bench at New Delhi. The Tribunal, Principal Bench allowed the Transfer Petition and directed listing of the O.A. 1619/2021 for admission, on 27.10.2021. Order was challenged by the Petitioner by filing a writ petition before the Calcutta High Court. The Calcutta High Court vide judgment dated 29.10.2021, allowed the writ petition filed by the Petitioner and set aside the order of the Tribunal, Principal Bench, passed in the Transfer Petition.

Respondents challenged the judgment dated 29.10.2021, before the Hon’ble Supreme Court primarily on the ground that the Calcutta High Court lacked the territorial jurisdiction to entertain a challenge to an order passed by the Principal Bench, New Delhi.

Learned counsel for the Petitioner contended that the Transfer Order was passed in violation of the principles of natural justice in as much as the Transfer Petition was listed for the first time on 22.10.2021 and despite requests made on behalf of the Petitioner, no opportunity was granted to file objections/reply to the petition or produce the relevant judgments.

The Court observed “this Court is not adjudicating on the said issue as it is not the subject matter of the Transfer Petition. The issue will be decided as and when the O.A. is decided by the Tribunal. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed along with the pending application.”

Click here to read the Judgement

Written by- Riya Singh, Legal Intern, Prime Legal

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