After waiting for more than a month, former chief secretary of Telangana and 1989 batch IAS officer Somesh Kumar, who had to report to Andhra Pradesh following a high court order, finally applied for VRS and the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has accepted his application.
It is now reliably learnt from highly placed sources in the Andhra Pradesh government that a GO on Somesh Kumar’s VRS will be issued in the coming week.
It means Somesh Kumar’s has not received any assurance from Jagan about being accommodated in a “respectable post” commensurate with his seniority in Andhra Pradesh.
It was on 10 January that the Telangana High Court directed Somesh Kumar to revert to the Andhra Pradesh cadre, to which he was allotted at the time of the bifurcation of the state in 2014.
Within hours of the high court’s order, the Central government asked Somesh Kumar to join the Andhra Pradesh government latest by 12 January.
Acting with great speed, the Centre also relieved him from the service of the Telangana government.
And on 12 January, Somesh Kumar reported to Andhra Pradesh government and also met Jagan Mohan Reddy.
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What the case was about
At the time of the bifurcation of the state in 2014, Somesh Kumar, when he was assigned to Andhra Pradesh, had challenged the order in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
In 2016, the CAT issued orders that if the Telangana government felt that his services were required, it could retain him after getting the consent of the Andhra Pradesh government.
The Centre, however, moved the Telangana High Court, seeking a stay on the CAT’s order.
The Telangana government had argued against the stay in court, saying that it would lead to seniority problems in the two states among IAS officers and would have a cascading effect on others.
The high court had kept its order in reserve a few months ago after hearing the arguments of Somesh Kumar, and the central and state governments.
On 10 January, the Telangana High Court, allowing the plea of the Centre, gave its verdict, effectively cancelling the CAT’s order. It also did not hold its order in abeyance to allow Somesh Kumar to approach the Supreme Court.
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Close to KCR
Somesh Kumar, who is believed to have the trust of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, was appointed chief secretary on 31 December, 2019, completing more than three years of service in the position — which was a first.
He also happens to be one of the longest-serving chief secretaries in the country.
Apart from discharging the responsibilities of the chief secretary, he held charge of the departments of excise, revenue, commercial taxes, stamps and registration, and land administration.
He played an important role in the cleansing of land records and uploading them into the Dharni portal after digitisation.
His retirement is due on 31 December this year.