Home Secretary Goyal replaced, Mehrishi appointed in his place

Home Secretary Goyal replaced, Mehrishi appointed in his place
Union Home Secretary L C Goyal was today replaced after only seven months in office following reported differences with the government and another senior IAS officer Rajiv Mehrishi was appointed in his place on the day of his superannuation.

A sudden announcement said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the appointment of Mehrishi, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, who was due to retire hours later, as Home Secretary for a period of two years.

A statement by the PMO also said that the prime minister had also approved the request of Goyal, a 1979-batch IAS officer, whose two-year tenure was till February, 2017, seeking voluntary retirement "due to personal reasons with immediate effect".

Later in the day, these decisions were attributed to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), which consists of the Prime Minister and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

In the evening, another official announcement said that Modi had approved the appointment of Goyal as Chairman and Managing Director of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).

Amid reports that Goyal had differences with the government on certain key issues including the recent Naga accord, the officer maintained that he was not upset with the government and that his decision to take voluntary retirement was personal.

"It was my own decision," Goyal said, adding that any other reason being mentioned was "factually incorrect".

However, the change of the Home Secretary comes against the backdrop of controversies involving the home ministry with regard to denial of security clearance to SUN TV owned by the Maran group, issues related to an NGO headed by activist Teesta Setalvad and the Naga accord.

Goyal had taken over as Home Secretary nearly seven months ago on February 5 when the then incumbent Anil Goswami was virtually 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.
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