New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order for a six-month extension of Delhi’s Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, following approval from the Supreme Court. The court acknowledged the central government’s authority to appoint and extend the term of the chief secretary. However, it emphasized that these views are provisional, pending a Constitutional bench’s decision on the validity of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act.
Despite the nod from the Supreme Court, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has voiced objections to the extension, asserting that the chief secretary’s responsibilities encompass matters exclusive to the Delhi government. The court, in its order, acknowledged the complexity of dividing functions and domains.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta argued in favor of the extension, citing Delhi’s status as the nation’s capital. He stated that the central government believes Naresh Kumar should continue for six months, as rules restrict extensions beyond this period. During the proceedings, it was revealed that there have been 57 instances of chief secretary tenure extensions in the last decade.
On behalf of the Delhi government, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued for the AAP government’s involvement in the chief secretary’s appointment, highlighting the multitude of matters falling within the Delhi government’s exclusive domain.
This development adds another layer to the ongoing debate over administrative jurisdiction in the capital, with the Supreme Court’s interim approval setting the stage for further constitutional scrutiny.