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Supreme Court allows Centre to extend tenure of Delhi Chief Secretary; says move prima facie not illegal

A bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, along with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said that the move by the Central government to extend Kumar’s tenure appeared to be prima facie legal.

“We have come to the conclusion that at this stage bearing in mind the provisions of the Constitution Bench Judgment and the subsequent enactment of Services Act, the decision of the Central government to extend the services of incumbent chief secretary for 6 months cannot be construed to be violative of law,” the Court noted in its order.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government opposing the extension of the incumbent Chief Secretary’s tenure.

The Court said that the role of the Delhi Chief Secretary is distinct as the position is responsible for subjects both within and outside the purview of the Delhi government.

Thus, the Court ruled that tenure extension rules applicable to AGMUT cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers would not apply to Delhi Chief Secretary as they would apply only to officers whose functions do not extend to subjects outside the control of the Delhi government.

Therefore, the Court concluded that prima facie, the Central government’s move to extend Naresh Kumar’s tenure was not violative of law.

However, the Court clarified that its evaluation was limited to the prima facie nature without getting into conclusive adjudication of issues pending before the Constitution Bench.

Source: Barandbench

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