SC units apart Calcutta HC order on ex-Bengal chief secretary’s plea

The Supreme Court on Thursday put aside an October 2021 order of the Calcutta High Court, which quashed a ruling of the Central Administrative Tribunal in Delhi associated to a case filed by former West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay, and stated the HC’s remarks have been “wholly unnecessary”.

A bench of justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar held that the High Court order, which quashed the tribunal’s order transfering the case from Kolkata to Delhi, was “passed without jurisdiction” and was “ab initio void (legally void from inception)”.

It additionally expunged some statements made by the High Court in opposition to the tribunal and stated these “were unwarranted, uncalled for and avoidable being sharp reaction on unfounded assumptions”.

The Central Administrative Tribunal adjudicates disputes and complaints associated to recruitment and circumstances of service of individuals appointed to public providers.

The high courtroom’s order got here on a plea by the central authorities, which additionally flagged a few of the feedback by the High Court in its October 29 ruling.

The difficulty is expounded to disciplinary proceedings in opposition to Bandopadhyay after he skipped a cyclone evaluate assembly chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Bengal’s Medinipur district on May 28, 2021.

He was issued a show-cause discover and directed to report earlier than the Centre on May 31, the day of his retirement. Bandopadhyay challenged the disciplinary proceedings in opposition to him on the Kolkata High Court.

On Thursday, the SC bench held that the Calcutta High Court didn’t have the jurisdiction to quash the Tribunal’s order. “It is crystal clear that the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal at New Delhi, which passed the order” transferring the matter from Kolkata to Delhi, “falls within the territorial jurisdiction of High Court of Delhi at New Delhi”, the highest courtroom stated.

“Needless to say that the power of judicial review of an order transferring an Original Application pending before a Bench of the Tribunal to another Bench… can be judicially reviewed only by a Division Bench of the High Court within whose territorial jurisdiction the Bench passing the same, falls”, it added.

“In the instant case, the High Court at Calcutta has usurped jurisdiction to entertain the Writ Petition…challenging the order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, New Delhi…even after taking note of the fact that the Principal Bench of the Tribunal does not lie within its territorial jurisdiction”, the Supreme Court stated.

On remarks by the High Court, criticising the Tribunal’s order transferring the case, the bench stated there was “no exceptional ground” “to make scathing and disparaging remarks and observations”

To observe sobriety, we are saying that the remarks made by the High Court have been unwarranted, uncalled for and avoidable being sharp response on unfounded assumptions. Ergo, we now have no hesitation to carry that they have been wholly pointless for the aim of deciding the correctness or in any other case of the order of switch. Hence, they’re liable to be expunged. We accomplish that,” the SC bench stated.


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