State election commission chief Neela Satyanarayan said on Thursday that there was little she could do to stop BMC commissioner Subodh Kumar’s extension although the government had not consulted her before taking the decision.
“I first sent a show cause notice to chief secretary Ratnakar Gaikwad on February 1 who gave the order from the state government. After that, I reprimanded him for not carrying out the process as per the law,” Satyanarayan said. She added that she did not have the powers to cancel the order.
Kumar, who was to retire on January 31, was given an extension on the same day.
According to the norms of the Election Commission of India, the transfer or extension of or for any officer, especially those having duties in connection with elections, should be avoided from the day the commission announces the election programme.
Quoting the rules laid down by the election commission, Satyanarayan said that the extension of Kumar’s posting ideally required permission from the election commission.
“No permission was taken. Gaikwad directly showed me the file that had orders from the Centre giving Kumar a three-month extension. I warned him not to commit such a mistake again,” she said.
Gaikwad, on the other hand, argued that Kumar’s extension would not impact the election process, as Kumar was not directly responsible for it. Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta is in charge of the election process.