HomeIndia NewsCentre issues notice to retired West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay under...

Centre issues notice to retired West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay under DM Act; considering criminal action next | India News

NEW DELHI: The home ministry late on Monday evening issued a notice to retired West Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay under Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, which lays down penalties for those who refuse, without reasonable cause, to comply with a direction given on behalf of the Centre or National Executive Committee, in relation to disaster management.
This followed in view of Bandyopadhyay having skipped a crucial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Bengal last week to review the situation arising out of Cyclone Yaas. Modi being the chairman of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the chief secretary was liable under
Disaster Management to attend the review meeting convened by him.
The ministry has asked Bandyopadhay to explain within three days, the deadline being Thursday, his action of skipping the crucial meeting held by the PM. Sources said if his explanation is not found to be satisfactory, further action may follow.
An offence under Section 51 entails registration of an FIR and upon conviction of the accused, a one-year prison term or with fine. This jail term shall stand extended to a maximum two years where the refusal to comply with directions has resulted in lots of lives or imminent danger thereof.
Incidentally, another provision in the DM Act, — Section 56 — states that an officer, on whom any duty has been imposed by or under this Act and who ceases or refuses to perform or withdraws himself from the duties of his office shall, unless he has obtained the express written permission of his official superior or has other lawful excuse for so doing, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine. It is however not clear if this provision too is sought to be invoked by MHA.

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