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Home ministry issues order to extend Delhi chief secretary’s tenure for 6 months after SC nod

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued an order to extend the tenure of Delhi’s chief secretary Naresh Kumar for a period of 6 months.

The MHA order came after the Supreme Court on Wednesday gave nod to the central government to extend the tenure of Naresh Kumar by six months. He was scheduled to retire on November 30.

The central government has the power to appoint the chief secretary of Delhi and that such power includes the power to extend the term of the superannuating officer, said the apex court.

However, the court clarified that its views are prima facie in nature, subject to the adjudication by the Constitution bench on the validity of the Centre’s Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, notified in August.

The AAP government has objected to the central government’s decision to extend Naresh Kumar’s term as Delhi’s chief secretary.

“It would not be possible or feasible to divide the functions of the Chief Secretary and bifurcate the domain which falls under GNCTD and lies outside… Once it emerges that the Chief Secretary performs important functions related to excluded subjects as well… it will be far fetched to postulate that the centre is divested to appoint the Chief Secretary. We clarify that this is on the prima facie evaluation of the matter,” the apex court said in its order.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said that Delhi is the capital of the nation and the central government is of the view that Naresh Kumar should continue for six months. Rules do not permit more than six months, Mehta added.

During the hearing, the central government also told the Supreme Court that there are 57 instances of the extension of the tenure of chief secretaries in last 10 years.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, argued that the chief secretary is dealing with a hundred other matters which are within the exclusive domain of the Delhi government, and hence, the AAP government should have a voice in the appointment.

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Updated: 29 Nov 2023, 11:09 PM IST

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