SC Chaudhary, a 1977-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer, looks set to become next Haryana chief secretary (CS). On January 1, 2014, a day after the incumbent chief secretary and batch mate, PK Chaudhery, retires, Chaudhary will be senior most serving IAS officer in the state.
SC Chaudhary is at present posted as additional chief secretary, home, jails, criminal investigation and administration of justice. Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is known to keep his cards close to the chest but it's unlikely he will overlook Chaudhary's seniority. The officer's big moment can arrive well before December 31, if the state government gives him the charge of officiating chief secretary, since PK Chaudhery is proceeding on leave from December 21.
The 1977 batch IAS who retires in April 2014 can also get a six-month extension in service under the All-India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1958. Rules state that it has to be on the recommendation of the state government concerned, with full justification, in public interest, and with prior approval of the union government. The provision was inserted in the rules in November 2005 by way of an amendment after consulting the state governments. Incumbent CS, PK Chaudhery too got a six-month extension in service from the Central government, though he was supposed to retire in June 2013.
While a section of retired bureaucrats are pushing for posting 1978-batch IAS officer Sanjay Kothari, who is on central deputation as secretary, administrative reforms, pension and grievances, as Haryana's next chief secretary, Hooda is unlikely to ignore Chaudhary, sources close to the CM told HT.