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Why governments keep their favourite bureaucrats

Why governments keep their favourite bureaucrats

The Supreme Court’s pronouncement that the extension to the Chief Secretary of Delhi does not violate any rule turned a nail-biting thriller into a damp squib. When the apex court had questioned the Union of India asking, “Why can’t the CM and LG resolve the issue together?”, an impression was created that a new chief secretary must take over from the incumbent. Hours before he was to superannuate, the Centre granted Naresh Kumar a six-month extension, and the apex court said it found nothing wrong with that. As a result, the story of a beleaguered government getting bypassed fell flat.

The grant of extensions to top officers is nothing new and began years ago under the UPA government with a slew of cabinet secretaries, then home and Defence secretaries. This was done by changing the All-India service rules. Over the years, various state governments have also given extensions to Chief Secretaries – sometimes agreed to by the central government and sometimes by posing a fait accompli. The incumbent Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh was granted an extension in service just prior to his retirement as Urban Development Secretary and immediately dispatched to his current post and then given another extension.


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