Jammu, Jan 15 (Agencies): Senior bureaucrat Madhav Lal has been named the new chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. The Omar Abdullah Government selected Madhav Lal late Friday evening, a minister said. 

Lal, a 1977 batch IAS officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre, would take over from Sham Singh Kapur, a 1974 batch IAS officer who is to retire January 31, 2011.  Lal is currently on deputation to the Central Government. 

The decision was taken by the state cabinet because of his seniority. All other contenders for the post were junior to him, the minister said.  Lal, during his career, has held various crucial postings.