Centre opposes before Delhi HC ex WB chief secy review plea concerning CAT proceedings

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 20-05-2022 18:49 IST | Created: 20-05-2022 18:49 IST
Centre opposes before Delhi HC ex WB chief secy review plea concerning CAT proceedings
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The Centre has opposed before the Delhi High Court a plea by former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay seeking a review of the dismissal of his challenge to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) transferring his application concerning the proceedings against him from Kolkata to New Delhi.

In its reply, the Centre said that the review petition is not maintainable as there are no lawful grounds for review of the judgement passed in March and empathized that the present proceedings are “nothing but an appeal in disguise to get the matter re-heard on merits”.

Last month, Bandyopadhyay (petitioner) had urged a bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Jyoti Singh to re-consider the dismissal order on the ground that he did not receive a fair opportunity to present his case before it was reserved for orders by the bench of then Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Singh.

He had argued that he did not get a “full crack of the whip” as a request to grant a 'passover' i.e. to take up the case after some time on the same day due to unavailability of the senior counsel was denied and consequently, a junior lawyer had to make submissions and oppose the senior law officers who appeared for the Centre.

The Centre, in response, said that while the right of being heard is valid and valuable, the right of being heard only by a senior advocate is neither a vested right nor treated to be a right whose violation would entitle a party to seek a review and the petitioner is now indulging in “bench hopping” by filing a review petition after the retirement of the Chief Justice who authored the judgement.

“The petitioner had engaged two learned senior advocates. If none of them are present when the matter is called out in the regular course and if the court hears the advocate for the petitioner, no prejudice can be argued and be treated to be ground for reviewing the entire judgment,” the reply stated.

It also claimed that there is no rule or a “regular practice” with respect to providing a “mandatory Passover” on the first call.

“From the conduct of the Petitioner, it is palpably clear and apparent that it is indulging in Bench hopping in the garb of a Review Petition and the present Review Petition which has been filed immediately after the retirement of the Hon 'ble Chief Justice who has authored the Judgement under Review,” the reply added.

The reply further asserted that the judgement does not suffer from any glaring omission or patent mistake which would warrant its review and the case was argued vehemently by the petitioner's counsel and it was heard at length by the court and the multiple written submissions were submitted and duly considered.

On March 7, the bench headed by then Chief Justice DN Patel had dismissed Bandyopadhyay's challenge to the transfer of his application concerning proceedings against him from Kolkata to New and said that the transfer order was passed within the four corners of the law.

Bandyopadhyay had first moved the Kolkata bench of the CAT to challenge the proceedings initiated against him in a matter related to not attending a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the effects of cyclone 'Yaas' at the Kalaikunda Air Force Station on May 28 last year.

The proceedings against the petitioner were initiated by the Ministry of Personnel and Public Grievance and Pensions.

Bandyopadhyay, who was not released by the state government, chose to retire on May 31, 2021, his original date of superannuation before having been given an extension of three months from that date.

The Union government had filed a transfer petition before the principal bench of CAT, which on October 22 last year allowed the transfer of Bandyopadhyay's application to itself in New Delhi. On January 6, the Supreme Court had set aside a Calcutta High Court order which quashed the CAT transfer order and granted Bandyopadhyay the liberty to assail the same before the jurisdictional high court. The apex court had delivered its verdict on a plea filed by the Centre challenging the October 29, 2021 order of the Calcutta High Court.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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