Delhi’s chief secretary Naresh Kumar – A brief profile | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi’s chief secretary Naresh Kumar – A brief profile

ByShiv Sunny
Nov 29, 2023 11:04 PM IST

A graduate in mechanical engineering and an MBA, Kumar served as the chairman of NDMC from 2015 to 2019, managing director of the DTC from 2009 to 2011

Delhi's chief secretary Naresh Kumar, who turned 60 on November 18, was set to retire on November 30. But the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it had decided to grant him a six-month extension, prompting the court to ask if there was no other officer eligible or competent enough to take the reins from the incumbent. A day later, the top court refused to interfere with the Centre's decision to grant a six-month extension to Kumar and held that the Centre has the power to appoint Delhi's chief secretary under the 2024 law on the administration of the national capital.

Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar (HT) PREMIUM
Delhi chief secretary Naresh Kumar (HT)

Delhi's chief secretary Naresh Kumar, who turned 60 on November 18, was set to retire on November 30. But the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it had decided to grant him a six-month extension, prompting the court to ask if there was no other officer eligible or competent enough to take the reins from the incumbent. A day later, the top court refused to interfere with the Centre's decision to grant a six-month extension to Kumar and held that the Centre has the power to appoint Delhi's chief secretary under the 2024 law on the administration of the national capital.

Delhi government had earlier approached the court to oppose any further extension to Kumar and demanded a consultative exercise for the appointment of the next chief secretary of the National Capital Territory (NCT) government.

An AGMUT cadre IAS officer of the 1987 batch, Kumar took over as Delhi's chief secretary in April 2022. He was transferred from Arunachal Pradesh where he was serving as the state’s chief secretary.

In May this year, after the Delhi government was handed over the reins of the services department by the Supreme Court, it had proposed that 1989 batch officer PK Gupta replace Kumar. Gupta is set to retire in January.

But the Supreme Court order was followed by the Parliament amending the GNCTD Act under which Delhi is governed. The amendment gave back the department’s reins to the Union government through the L-G. Delhi’s chief secretary appointment is important due to the national capital’s administrative structure.

A graduate in mechanical engineering and an MBA, Kumar served as the chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Council from 2015 to 2019, managing director and chairperson of the Delhi Transport Corporation from 2009 to 2011 including the period when Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games.

Apart from heading the DTC, he served in various other departments such as urban development and khadi and industries from 2005 to 2012, before he was sent on a central deputation to the department of mines and minerals in 2012.

He was also the deputy commissioner of South Delhi in 1997 when the Uphaar Cinema tragedy struck. He led the inquiry committee which held the cinema management guilty of violating building laws and safety regulations.

Confrontation with the Delhi government

Kumar’s tenure as Delhi’s chief secretary has been riddled with confrontations with the Delhi government.

Earlier this month, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to lieutenant governor (LG) VK Saxena recommending Kumar’s immediate removal in an alleged corruption case involving land acquisition for the Dwarka expressway.

It was based on a 650-page report by vigilance minister Atishi who alleged that a company linked to Kumar's son was benefitted in the process. The LG, however, rubbished the report by calling it “prejudiced” and “devoid of merit”, and refused to even consider it.

Kumar denied the charges and said he welcomed an investigation. “Let CBI/ED also investigate such conspiracy being done by vested interests, including public authorities, to malign me, against whom action has been taken by me, including removal from services/posts, suspension, referring cases to ED, CBI and Delhi Police with approval of the competent authorities for investigation,” he said in a statement.

 

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