With the tenure of the incumbent chief secretary, Satish Chandra Choudhary, coming to an end on July 31, the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government is looking for his successor. Choudhary, who was due for retirement on April 30 was earlier given a three month extension of service by the UPA government. The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, however, refused to accede to Haryana government’s request for a further three month extension in service under the provisions of All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules, 1958.
As per the section 16 (1) of Rules, a member of the All India service holding the post of chief secretary to a state government may be given extension of service for a period not exceeding 6 months on the recommendation made by state government with full justification and in public interest with the prior approval of the Central government.Going by the seniority, 1978 batch IAS officer Shakuntala Jakhu happens to be the senior most among the officers posted in Haryana.
Jakhu, who is at present posted as additional chief secretary, revenue, retires in September 2014. Her batch mate Sanjay Kothari, who has been appointed as secretary, department of personnel and training (DoPT) by the NDA government at the Centre, is unlikely to come back to Haryana.
And so is the case of 1979 batch IAS officer Ajit Mohan Sharan, 1980-batch IAS officer Ashok Lavasa and 1981-batch IAS officers Madhusudan Prasad and Anuradha Gupta — all of whom are on central deputation and unlikely to return to their parent cadre in view of the impending assembly polls.
“The post-poll scenario entailing a possible change of guard will be a big deterrent for these officers to come back now,’’ said an IAS officer.
Sources said that chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is looking to accommodate Jakhu as state information commissioner (SIC) before her retirement. In fact, she is among the nine persons shortlisted by a search committee for the three posts of the SIC.
In the event of Jakhu taking oath as SIC, the state government could well appoint 1981 batch IAS officer, Praveen Kumar Gupta as the next chief secretary. Gupta, who was posted as additional chief secretary, home, before he went on leave, retires in December 2014.