Because the Centre on Tuesday submitted that it needed to increase the tenure of the Delhi chief secretary who is because of retire on November 30, the Supreme Court docket sought to know below which energy it may achieve this and quipped if it was “caught with just one individual” and did not have some other IAS officer for the publish.
The apex courtroom requested the Central authorities to tell it on Wednesday concerning the grounds on which it needed to increase the tenure of Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by six extra months.
Throughout a listening to on a Delhi authorities’s plea, a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud steered that Mr Kumar ought to be allowed to superannuate and a contemporary appointment ought to be made.
On the similar time, it additionally famous that the Centre held the ability below the Authorities of Nationwide Capital Territory of Delhi (Modification) Act to make the appointment and there was no keep on it.
“This man is superannuating. Let this man superannuate. You make a contemporary appointment,” the bench mentioned.
The courtroom was knowledgeable by Solicitor Common Tushar Mehta, showing for the Centre, that the federal government intends to increase the tenure of the present individual, who has been working for greater than one-and-a-half yr, for a restricted interval.
As he mentioned even the time period of a superannuated individual will be prolonged if the federal government so needs, the CJI mentioned, “Are you caught with just one individual?”.
“You wish to make the appointment, make it. Do not you’ve got any IAS officer who will be made chief secretary of Delhi? Are you so caught on one IAS officer?,” the bench additionally comprising justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra mentioned.
The legislation officer responded, “I’m not caught with just one individual” however there have been some administrative causes.
The highest courtroom requested the Centre to point out the ability below which it may lengthen the tenure of the chief secretary.
“Present us the ability to increase. And present us what’s the floor on which you wish to lengthen. In any other case, you possibly can appoint whoever you wish to, take directions.
“We’re not holding you in any path. You choose any IAS officer of your alternative who will come right here and maintain the place of chief secretary,” mentioned the bench, including it is going to take up the matter on Wednesday.
The appointment of the chief secretary is the newest bone of competition between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi authorities and Lieutenant Governor (LG) V Ok Saxena who’ve been concerned in a collection of run-ins over numerous points.
The bench was listening to a plea of the Delhi authorities in opposition to any transfer by the Centre to nominate, with none session with it, the brand new chief secretary or lengthen the tenure of the present high civil servant Naresh Kumar. The Delhi authorities has questioned how the Centre might proceed with the appointment of the chief secretary with none session with it whereas the brand new legislation is below problem.
Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing the Delhi authorities, on Tuesday argued there was an absolute breach of communication, belief and religion between this chief secretary and the administration.
He mentioned he was not asking to nominate an individual of his alternative however the Centre can select from the senior most 5 IAS officers or let the LG and CM sit collectively and determine.
“My lordships do not stay in a vacuum. I’m not blaming him or blaming myself. On daily basis your lordships see in newspapers, for every part and something, Chief secretary is a linchpin and that’s your lordships’ phrase,” Mr Singhvi submitted.
On being requested by the bench as to for a way lengthy the Centre proposed to increase the tenure of the present chief secretary, Mr Mehta mentioned the choice seemed to be for six months, topic to the courtroom’s order.
“Now the ordinance permits us to make an appointment due to the very peculiar nature of Delhi.
“The chief secretary must study to cope with the chief minister and the elected wing must cope with the chief secretary the best way a senior bureaucrat is required to be handled. You possibly can’t cope with him as a category IV worker. If this occurs, such points is not going to come up,” he mentioned.
Mr Singhvi mentioned an individual is superannuating and in the entire of India the federal government has no IAS workplace to decide on and it was extending his tenure which “speaks for itself”.
To this, the CJI mentioned the Authorities of Nationwide Capital Territory of Delhi (Modification) Act has come into drive and it provides energy to the Centre to nominate the chief secretary and the apex courtroom has not stayed the legislation.
“Due to this fact, below the Act, as they stand at the moment, they’ve the ability to nominate the chief secretary,” the CJI mentioned, including that “We’ve got expressly declined to remain the legislation”.
The Act which was notified in August provides the Centre management over paperwork within the nationwide capital and an authority was created below it for the switch and posting of Group-A officers.
When Mr Singhvi submitted that there was nothing particular within the new Act that offers with the Chief Secretary, Mr Mehta mentioned the brand new Act defines the phrase chief secretary as chief secretary of NCT of Delhi to be appointed by the central authorities and it’s an unique area of the central authorities below the brand new legislation.
The bench mentioned it had earlier requested the Centre to provide a panel of three or 5 names to the Delhi authorities and they’ll choose one title however now it was saying that the Central authorities can appoint anyone it needs to.
As Mr Mehta mentioned it may be the identical individual below the legislation, the CJI requested him to apprise the courtroom below which energy this may be executed.
“There are officers who’re being given extensions below the statutory powers of the federal government,” the solicitor common mentioned.
“This renders the federal government of NCT of Delhi a mere observer within the appointment of probably the most essential member of the everlasting govt, the Chief Secretary,” the Delhi authorities mentioned in its plea.
For efficient and clean governance, it’s the state authorities, which enjoys the mandate of the native individuals, that appoints the Chief Secretary, it mentioned.
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