NEW DELHI: The government on Saturday approved extension in service of home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in the same post beyond the date of his superannuation on November 30, 2020, until August 22, 2021. Bhalla shall complete his two-year tenure as the top bureaucrat in home ministry on August 22, 2021.
Though the home secretary, like the Cabinet secretary, defence secretary and foreign secretary and few other posts, has a fixed two-year tenure, Bhalla's original appointment order as home secretary, issued on August 22, 2019, did not specify that he would have a fixed two-year term.
While former home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi's appointment order dated August 31, 2015, clearly stated that he would have a fixed two-year tenure as home secretary, his successor Rajiv Gauba's appointment order did not say so as he was due to superannuate only after completing two years as home secretary. He was named Cabinet secretary on August 21, 2019, though for two years with effect from August 30, 2019.
Bhalla's appointment order dated August 22, 2019, merely said he, then officer on special duty in the home ministry, was appointed as home secretary vice Rajiv Gauba.
Thus, to ensure that he continued in the post beyond November 30, 2020 -- the date of his superannuation -- a separate order extending his service until the end of his two years as home secretary, may have been necessitated.
Bhalla's extension order issued on Saturday said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had approved an extension in his service as home secretary beyond the date of his superannuation i.e. 30.11.2020 up to 22.08.2021 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.