(Representational image) North Block in New Delhi | Bloomberg file
(Representational image) North Block in New Delhi | Bloomberg file
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New Delhi: The defence secretary, home secretary, director of intelligence bureau, secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), can now be given extensions of up to two years, a central government notification issued Monday said.

At present, these civil servants have a fixed tenure of two years in these posts, and their appointments are governed by the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act.

The order comes a day after the Centre brought in a controversial ordinance, extending the tenure of the chiefs of the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation for up to five years.

To bring in this ordinance, the DSPE Act and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act have been amended to give the government the power to keep the two chiefs in their posts for up to five years.

On Monday, the Centre amended the fundamental rules 1992, saying that the extensions for the defence secretary, home secretary, director of intelligence bureau, and secretary of RAW cannot “exceed two years”. 

This order would mean that if the government wants, it can give them an extension for up to two years and one officer may end up remaining in that post for up to four years.

The notification reads that the central government “may, if it considers necessary in public interest so to do, give extension in service to the Defence Secretary, Home Secretary, Director of Intelligence Bureau, Secretary of Research and Analysis Wing and Director of Central Bureau of Investigation”.

This extension, the notification says, will be “for such period or periods as it may deem proper on a case-to-case basis for reasons to be recorded in writing, subject to the condition that the total term of such Secretaries or Directors, as the case may be, who are given such extension in service under this rule, does not exceed two years or the period provided in the respective Act or rules made thereunder, under which their appointments are made”.

While for the defence secretary, home secretary, director of intelligence bureau, secretary of RAW, the extension is only for two years, for the director of CBI and ED, it has been made five years.

What it means for civil servants

Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, who has completed his two-year fixed tenure, was given an extension in August 2021 for a year. According to the new rules, he will now be eligible for another extension of one year. Similarly, IB chief Arvind Kumar and R&AW chief Samant Kumar Goel, who were given a year’s extension in May 2021, can get yet another extension for a year.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, who finished his two-year tenure in August 2021, continues to be in the post since he is yet to retire. He, however, will be eligible for a two-year extension after his retirement, if he remains the secretary of defence.

The directors of CBI and ED may now continue in their jobs for up to five years. After two years of fixed term, they can get three more yearly extensions, making their total stay in office to five years.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)


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