New Delhi | In a sudden and surprise development, senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi, who was to retire today, was appointed as Union Home Secretary, replacing L C Goyal whose tenure abruptly ended 17 months before the completion of his two-year tenure.
Mehrishi, the 1978-batch Rajasthan cadre IAS officer, was serving as Economic Affairs Secretary in the Finance Ministry and today was his last day on turning 60. A PMO statement said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Mehrishi as Home Secretary for a period of two years with effect from today.
Significantly, the news of Mehrishi’s appointment came from PMO which said, the Prime Minister has also approved the request of Goyal, a 1979-batch IAS officer from Kerala cadre, seeking Voluntary Retirement from government service with immediate effect due to personal reasons.
Goyal had taken over as Home Secretary nearly seven months back on February 5 when the then incumbent Anil Goswami was sacked after he allegedly tried to prevent CBI from arresting former Union Minister Matang Sinh in connection with Saradha chit fund scam case.
This is the third exit of a top bureaucrat much before the end of tenure. Apart from Goswami, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was eased out of her office in January, six months before the completion of her two-year fixed tenure.
The post of Union Home Secretary has a fixed tenure of two years. Today’s development comes against the backdrop of reported controversies in the Home Ministry surrounding the denial of security clearance to Sun TV owned by the Maran group, issues related to an NGO headed by social activist Teesta Setelvad and the Naga accord.
However, Goyal insisted that he was not upset with the government and maintained that his decision to take voluntary retirement was personal. For personal reasons, I didn’t want to continue. It was my own decision, Goyal told reporters here after the announcement came.
Goyal said any other reason being mentioned is factually incorrect. At the same time, Goyal, who turned 60 only a few months ago, said he is hale and hearty.
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