In a surprise move, senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi has been appointed as the new Union Home Secretary. His appointment came in place of incumbent L C Goyal, whose tenure abruptly ended 17 months before the completion of his two-year tenure.
Goyal is said to have taken voluntary retirement from the government with immediate effect.
According to the statement issued by the PMO, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Mehrishi as Home Secretary for a period of two years with effect from Monday.
Significantly, the news of Goyal’s retirement also came from the 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”.
Mehrishi was serving as Economic Affairs Secretary in the Finance Ministry and was supposed to retire today.
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 the multi-crore rupee Saradha chit fund scam.
This is the third time that a a top bureaucrat’s term has ended much before the end of tenure. Apart from Goswami, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh was also eased out of her office in January, six months before the completion of her two-year fixed tenure.
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 the press after the announcement came. He also reiterated that any other reason being mentioned in support of his retirement is factually incorrect.
(With inputs from PTI)