NEW DELHI:L C Goyal on Thursday assumed charge as the new Home Secretary, a day after Anil Goswami was removed by the government over his alleged role in trying to stall the arrest of former union minister Matang Sinh in the multi-crore Saradha chit-fund scam.
Goyal, a 1979 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, earlier served in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as a Joint Secretary (Internal Security) from 2002 to 2007. He had joined the MHA in September 2002 when L K Advani was the Union Home Minister in NDA-I Government.
A source said that Goyal’s experience in the ministry as well as the Cabinet Secretariat during 2012-2013 was one of the main reasons for his selection. He also said that the government wanted to have a replacement immediately instead of giving additional charge to a senior most Secretary in the MHA.
“The consultation process had started immediately after a meeting where Goswami reached the Prime Minister’s Office around 3:30 pm on Wednesday. Two to three other names were also on the table. Another close contender did not have any experience of serving in the MHA. The entire consultation process and final decision took about five hours.
Sources said that the name of Saurabh Chandra, a 1978 batch IAS officer of UP cadre was also short-listed. A batch senior to Goyal, Chandra is currently serving as the Petroleum Secretary. However, sources pointed out that, Chandra never served in the MHA which gave an edge to Goyal.
An MHA official said that Goyal, who will have a fixed-tenure of two years, was to retire in May this year. A native of Haryana, Goyal was appointed as the Rural Development Secretary in October 2013.
Goyal had served in the Finance, Agriculture and Planning Department in Kerala. After assuming office, Goyal said that he has been given a huge responsibility by the government and he would work with utmost sincerity.
“I will fulfil this responsibility with utmost sincerity, commitment, diligence and with a profound sense of accountability. To be able to do so, I solicit active support and cooperation of all the stake-holders,” Goyal said.
The biggest advantage for Goyal, an MHA official said, is his experience in Internal Security Wing.