The ministry of home affairs (MHA) issued an order to extend the tenure of Delhi's chief secretary Naresh Kumar for a period of 6 months. The extension is effective from December 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024.
The order of extension came after a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud agreed that the Centre has the power to appoint the chief secretary of the Delhi Government under the law and it also grants them the power to extend the term of the superannuating officer.
Naresh Kumar, 1988 batch AGMUT cadre IAS officer is scheduled to retire today. The AAP government in Delhi state wants to replace Naresh Kumar while centre wants to give extension to his services.
The top court passed the order against a plea by the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government challenging the extension.
The Delhi government had argued it wants a fresh face as there was an “absolute breach of communication, trust and faith of any kind between the chief secretary and the Delhi government”.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, argued that the Centre has no power to extend Kumar's term as the All India Services Rules states that extensions are to be given by the state government, reported Bar and Bench.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government, argued that the authority to extend the tenure of chief secretaries resides with the Centre. He also said that the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment Act, 2023 gave it the statutory authority over civil services in the national capital.
The court said that the role of the Delhi chief secretary is distinct as the position is responsible for the three subjects – public order, police and land – that are outside the purview of the state government, reported Bar and Bench.
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