Senior IAS officer Ajoy Mehta, who was to retire on September 30 2019, but in view of the 2019 Maharashtra assembly polls, got an extension of six months, which was ending on March 31 has again been given three months extension.
While extending the service tenure of 1984 batch IAS officer following a request from the Uddhav Thackeray led Maharashtra government, the Centre said that the services of Mehta have been extended as a special case in public interest, considering a grave public health emergency due to Covid-19.
Maharashtra already has the highest number of coronavirus patients and the state government is facing the biggest challenge to contain it from spreading.
The Centre meanwhile, said that the extension to the top IAS officer has been govern by relaxing All-India Service Rules and will not be quoted as a precedent in future. Mehta is leading a team of bureaucrats in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Senior IAS officer is the first bureaucrat in the state to get an extension beyond six months. Earlier, two former chief secretaries, Jayant Kumar Banthia and Johny Joseph, were granted six-month extensions after their retirement.
Meanwhile, in the seniority list, Mehta is followed by additional chief secretary (housing) Sanjay Kumar (1984 batch), Mumbai municipal commissioner Praveen Pardesi and additional chief secretary (services) Sitaram Kunte (both 1985 batch). They will have to wait till the retirement of Mehta. Sanjay Kumar is due for retirement on February 28, 2021, while Pardesi and Kunte will retire on November 30, 2021.