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Supreme Court Seeks Explanation On Delhi Chief Secretary's Tenure Extension, Questions Government's Sole Dependence
- The Supreme Court has raised queries about the Central government's bid to extend the tenure of Delhi's Chief Secretary, Naresh Kumar.
- The court seeks clarification on the legal grounds for this extension and questions if the government is overly reliant on a single candidate.
In a recent development, the Central government expressed its desire to extend the tenure of Delhi's Chief Secretary, Naresh Kumar, who is set to retire on November 30. The Supreme Court has sought clarification on the legal basis for this extension, questioning whether the government is limited to a single candidate for the position.
During a hearing on a plea by the Delhi government, Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud suggested that rather than extending Mr. Kumar's tenure, a new appointment should be made. The court acknowledged the government's authority under the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act to make appointments, emphasizing that there was no existing stay on this power.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Central government, stated that the extension was intended for a limited period due to certain administrative reasons. However, the Chief Justice questioned whether the government was solely reliant on one individual, asking if there were no other suitable IAS officers for the role.
The court pressed the government to provide grounds and legal justifications for extending the chief secretary's tenure, urging them to demonstrate the specific power under which this action could be taken. The government was given until the next day to present this information.
This issue adds to the ongoing disputes between the Chief Minister-led Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena. The Delhi government has raised concerns about the Central government's unilateral appointment or extension of the chief secretary without consultation, particularly while the new law is under challenge.
The Central government, referencing the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, argued that it had the authority to appoint the chief secretary. The court, however, emphasized the need for transparency and asked the government to provide a panel of names for consideration by the Delhi government, highlighting the importance of effective governance and collaborative decision-making in the appointment of such a crucial executive position. The matter is scheduled for further consideration by the court.