S N Sahai, a senior IAS officer, has been appointed as ‘interim’ chief secretary of the Delhi government till a regular appoinment is made.

Sahai, a 1986-batch Union Territory cadre officer, took charge from incumbent D M Spolia, who retired yesterday, official sources said.

A regular appointment for the top bureaucratic post of the Delhi government will be made soon, they said.

Home Ministry officials said senior IAS officer R S Negi, who was the first choice of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the Chief Secretary, is unlikely to be appointed for the post as he is too junior and not in the apex pay scale.

This was conveyed by Home Ministry to the Delhi government and gave it two other options to choose the next top bureaucrat for the city government, official sources said.

As per the first option, the Home Ministry has sent a panel of three senior IAS officers to the Delhi government to pick up any of them.

Negi’s name is not in the list.

As per the second option, the Home Ministry has asked the city government to send name of any officer who is in the pay scale of Rs 80,000.

Sources said the Delhi government is likely to accept the second option and recommend name of an officer who is in the apex pay scale for appointment of national capital’s next Chief Secretary.

The two key reasons which came in the way of appointing Negi as Chief Secretary are — nearly a dozen officers senior to Negi are still serving in different capacities and he is not in the pay scale of Rs 80,000.

Kejriwal on Thursday had requested Home Minister Rajnath Singh to do the needful for appointing 1984-batch IAS officer Negi as the Chief Secretary of Delhi to succeed incumbent Spolia, who retires today.

The Home Minister was said to be ready to accommodate the request of Kejriwal but service rules came in the way.

Negi is currently serving as the Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh.