Setback to AAP govt as SC upholds Centre’s decision to extend Delhi chief secretary’s tenure

Naresh Kumar’s tenure was extended by six months

Supreme Court of India Supreme Court of India | Arvind Jain

In a major setback to the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed its petition against the Centre’s proposal to extend the tenure of Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by six months.

The court said the Union Home Ministry 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.

Kumar was to demit office on November 30.

A bench led by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also agreed to the Centre’s argument that it has the right to transfer and appoint bureaucrats in the Delhi government.

A six-month extension could not be viewed as violation of law, observed the bench which also comprises justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

“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.

On Tuesday, however, when the Centre submitted that it wanted to extend Kumar's tenure, the top court had wondered whether it was "stuck with only one person" because it didn't have any other IAS officer for the top bureaucratic post.

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