Centre objects to Rakesh Sharma’s re-appointment as CS of Uttarakhand
Rakesh Sharma’s tenure ended on October 31st
The tension between the state government and the Centre is bound to escalate with the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT-Centre), through a letter sent yesterday, questioning the legality of Chief Secretary Rakesh Sharma’s reappointment to the post after his superannuation on October 31.
In a letter received by the state Department of Personnel, the DOPT-Centre termed the rejoining of the CS through the ex-cadre route as “illegal” and questioned the “posting of non-cadre officer to the cadre post of Chief Secretary when suitable officer are available in the cadre,”
It has asked the state government to appoint a cadre officer to the post and termed the appointment of Rakesh Sharma “without any competent and void.”
The issue has so perplexed the state that even Governor KK Paul had reportedly sought the opinion of the state Department of Personnel on the matter.
Chief Minister Harish Rawat today expressed surprise at the undue haste shown by the DOPT-Centre in questioning the legality of the appointment.
“The DOPT is the controlling department for the IAS cadre and we will examine the letter and respond accordingly. We do not want any confrontation with the Centre. We had written a month in advance seeking extension for IAS officer Rakesh Sharma. The Centre could have rejected it. Instead, it did not respond. We waited till the last hour (8 pm) on October 31 and then devised a way of retaining an officer by creating an ex-cadre post. There was an extra-ordinary situation. The House was called and the supplementary budget had to be tabled. Usually in such cases, when a reply does not come, it is assumed that our plea has been accepted by the Centre,” Rawat said.
Meanwhile, officials in the state Department of Personnel said until 2008, the power of extending tenure of IAS officers was in the hands of the state government but after 2008, it came back to the Centre. “But there was a general practice of conceding to the request made by the CM. Perhaps this will be the first instance when a request by a CM has been turned down,” said an official. However, he added the All-India Service rules categorically state even while making appointment to the cadre post or an ex-cadre officer, a prior permission has to be taken from the Centre.