The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the Centre’s decision to extend the tenure of Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar by six months.
Earlier on November 24, The apex court asked the Centre to suggest names of five senior bureaucrats to be considered for the post of new Delhi chief secretary by 10.30 am on November 28. The top court said the Delhi government would have to respond the same day to facilitate adjudication on the vexed issue.
The appointment of the chief secretary is the latest bone of contention between Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor (LG) V K Saxena who have been involved in a series of run-ins over various issues.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra which was hearing the AAP government's plea asked why the LG and the chief minister cannot meet to amicably decide on names.
Earlier on July 17, the top court had taken note of the differences over the appointment of the new DERC chairperson and asked Kejriwal and the LG to discuss names of former judges who could head the national capital's power regulator, saying the two constitutional functionaries have to rise above "political bickering".
However, the deadlock remained despite the two functionaries meeting and finally the top court appointed the DERC chairperson.
In the brief hearing on Friday, the bench said the names of five senior bureaucrats, to be suggested by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, for the post of chief secretary will be submitted at 10.30 AM on Tuesday to it.
Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, said the city dispensation will revert back within a few minutes.
The bench then said it would try to give the orders on the name for appointment of the chief secretary the same day, saying any delay may affect the reputation of senior officers.
The bench was hearing a plea of the Delhi government against any move by the Centre to appoint, without any consultation with it, the new chief secretary or extend the tenure of the current top civil servant Naresh Kumar who, otherwise, is set to demit office on November 30.
"Why can't the LG and the CM meet? Last time we said that for the appointment of DERC chairperson and they never agreed...," the CJI said.
"So, why doesn't the LG and the Centre propose a panel of names? The ultimate choice will be from a panel made by you. You suggest a panel. Then they (the Delhi government) will pick up one name," the bench proposed.