Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday accepted the request of Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khandey for voluntary retirement from service, three months ahead of his scheduled superannuation. “In pursuance to Sub Rule 2 of Rule 16 of All India Service (death and retirement benefits Rule 1958) read with IINd Proviso to this rule, sanction is hereby accorded to voluntary retirement of Mohammad Iqbal Khandey (IAS) with effect from August 31, 2015,” an order issued by the state government stated.
Khandey had sought voluntary retirement citing differences with the government over the frequent transfers and postings of senior officers and refusal of his request to postpone a Cabinet meeting last month in view of a death of his relative as the reasons. The outgoing chief secretary did not attend office yesterday and today.
Four senior IAS officers — Sonali Kumar, Khurshid Ganai, Arun Kumar and B R Sharma — are in contention for the post vacated by Khandey, with Sharma reportedly emerging as the front runner as he functioned as Cabinet Secretary during the Cabinet meeting held on August 21. While Ganai is retiring in October, Sonali Kumar’s superannuation is in November. Arun Kumar has more than one year service left but he reportedly seems to be out of favour in the present dispensation.