New Chief Secy Dr Arun K Mehta to dispose of J&K Govt official business from May 31

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All commissioner-secretaries directed to address all papers/files to Arun Kumar Mehta from Monday

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Government on Saturday ordered all the administrative secretaries to place all the files before new Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta from May 31.

Quoting Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, an order issued by General Administration Department here read: “Consequent upon the appointment of Shri B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, IAS (CG: 1987) as Officer on Special duty in the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and appointment of Shri Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS (AGMUT:1988) as Chief Secretary, J&K, it is hereby ordered that all the powers vested with the Chief Secretary for disposing official business shall now be exercised by Shri Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS w.e.f. 31 2021’’. “Accordingly, all the Administrative Departments are directed to address/mark all the papers and files to Shri Arun Kumar Mehta, IAS w.e.f. 31st May, 2021,’’ it added.

The government order evoked sharp reaction from Kashmiri politicians, with former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah describing it “ Very unusual order issued by the J&K government’’. “If I didn’t know better I’d read this order to mean the outgoing CS wasn’t too keen to hand over charge to his successor,’’ he tweeted, adding “either way I haven’t seen an order like this before’’.

In another tweet, he wrote “a man who famously said no Kashmiris shed tears when mainstream politicians were detained in 2019. In 2021 it looks like no one can wait to show him the door. Be careful who you step on on the way up, you will meet them on the way down’’.

People’s Conference supremo and former minister Sajad Lone in a tweet wrote: “Just dawned on me that the new CS Mr AK Mehta is from the state cadre. It is natural that he will have a sense of belonging. Hope we always get an officer from our cadre. May I add that I personally don’t know Mr Mehta. Have never seen him. Have never met him’’.