In setback to AAP govt, SC upholds Centre’s decision to extend tenure of Delhi Chief Secy by 6 months

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Centre’s decision to extend the tenure of Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, who was all set to demit office on November 30, by six more months.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Candrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said, the Union government’s decision “cannot be construed to be violative of law.”

“We clarify that this (the order upholding the extension of tenure) is based on our prima facie view without any consideration to issues pending adjudication before the constitution bench (examining the amended law dealing with services in the national capital),” it said.

The bench said the union ministry of home affairs is empowered to extend the tenure of the chief secretary who deals with all issues related to Entry 1, 2 and 8 (police, public order and land) of the seventh schedule of the State List of the Constitution.

It said these subjects are beyond the legislative and executive ambit of the Delhi government and hence, prima facie, the Centre has the requisite power to extend the tenure of the chief secretary.

On Tuesday, the Centre submitted before the court that it wanted to extend Kumar’s tenure.

The bench had sought to know if the Centre had the necessary power to do so, and wondered whether it was “stuck with only one person” because it didn’t have any other IAS officer for the top bureaucratic post.

The bench was hearing the Delhi government’s plea against any move by the Centre to appoint, without any consultation with it, the new chief secretary or extend the tenure of the incumbent top civil servant.

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