People from various sections of the society here have protested against the transfer of Commissioner (Allahabad Division), Badal Chatterjee. Chatterjee had joined as Allahabad Commissioner on February 10 earlier this year and was transferred on September 19. He has currently been put on the waiting list.
Chatterjee, who was with the state civil services before being allotted the 1998-batch of the IAS officers, had recently launched a concerted drive against the malpractices existing in the medical field, including the problem of teachers and doctors in Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital (which is attached the Motilal Nehru Medical College) being involved in private practice. Besides, the nexus between drug suppliers and the doctors was also on the target. The transfer is being allegedly seen as the handiwork of those getting affected by the actions.
The Allahabad High Court Bar Association (AHCBA) and the District Bar Association on Monday submitted a joint memorandum to the Chief Minister, through the District Magistrate, condemning the transfer and demanding that the order be withdrawn.
“In a joint meeting, we have issued a statement saying that the officer was acting in public interest because the unholy nexus in the medical field is rampant and he was taking action as per orders from the Allahabad High Court,” said AHCBA secretary Dr C P Upadhyay.
Upadhyay added that, although the two Associations did not formally give a strike call, many lawyers protested at various places, including outside the high court against the transfer. “If the government does not revoke it, we will intensify our agitation,” he said.
Congress MLA from City (North), Anugraha Narayan Singh, said: “The officer has been working hard in public interest. Besides, his retirement was due in February next year. He should have been allowed to remain within his home district. Moreover, it is not that the government has transferred him because he was gravely needed elsewhere. Instead, he has been put on waiting list, which is an insult. We, as residents of Allahabad and leaders from our students’ days, have expressed our objections to the CM through a faxed message and requested him to revoke it.”
Singh added that, apart from him, former students’ union leaders like Vinod Chandra Dubey (now, a long-timer in the Samajwadi Party), Shyama Krishna Pandey (now in Congress) and some other leaders jointly signed the statement in this regard.
A section of the Allahabad University students, led by outdoing Students’ Union president Kuldeep Singh K D, had also staged a protest on Sunday. They had also submitted a memorandum to the district authorities demanding that the transfer order be revoked.
Earlier, on July 11, the Allahabad High Court, while hearing a PIL, had ordered the Commissioner to constitute a committee that would check the practice of government teachers and doctors. The court had passed the order after it was brought to its notice that a Government Order (GO) of 2003 expressly made the Commissioner responsible for checking the menace. It had also sought a report on the same by the Commissioner by October 28.
In this connection, a six-member committee had also been constituted. A few raids were also mounted on some of the government doctors, who were suspected to be involved in private practice.
“The officer had constituted a committee and was proceeding towards finalising the report. It appears that those who may have been affected by the same decided to pull some strings in the state capital and get the officer transferred. This order is illegally and arbitrary,” said Upadhyay.
Chatterjee had earlier been posted in Allahabad in various capacities, including ADM (City), Municipal Commissioner and ADM (Civil Supplies). Barring his term as ADM (Civil Supplies), Chatterjee often found himself transferred to other departments, whenever he tried to set things straight, sources close to him claimed.