The appointment of Private Secretaries to three Union Minister including Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been put on hold, according to official sources.
The decision is understood to have been taken in the wake of a circular from Personnel Department that appointment in the minister's personal staff including Private Secretaries and Officers on Special Duty should should be cleared by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet.
The circular was sent to all secretaries by Department of Personnel and Training on May 26 last month stating that for appointment of Personal Secretary, ACC approval is required. "All the ministries and departments are, therefore, advised to ensure strict compliance of the laid down procedures for all appointments including Officer on Special Duty in the personal staff of the ministers," it said.
In the case of Rajnath Singh, the name proposed for Private Secretary to him is Alok Singh, a 1995 batch IPS officer, who worked with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in the previous UPA government.
While there was no word officially from the Personnel Department, the sources said that the new government is unlikely to clear appointments of officers who had served on the ministerial staff of the previous regime.
47-year-old Singh has served with Khurshid in Water Resources, Law and Justice and External Affairs ministries and his tenure was till February 14 next year. The fate of Private Secretaries of Ministers of States for Home Kiren Rijiju and Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh -- Abhinav Kumar and Rajesh Kumar -- was also unclear as their appointment had also been not cleared.
Abhinav was Private Secretary of Minister of State Shashi Tharoor and Rajesh was Private Secretary with Cabinet Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch.