Plea in HC challenging Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police chief, hearing on Wednesday

New Delhi, August 17 (PTI): A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner and extension of his service by one year.

The petition is listed for hearing on Wednesday before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

The 1984-batch IPS officer, serving as the director general of Border Security Force, was appointed Delhi Police Commissioner on July 27, four days before his superannuation on July 31.

The petition sought quashing of July 27 order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs appointing Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner and also the order granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service to him.

It further sought to initiate steps for appointing Delhi Police Commissioner strictly in accordance with the direction issued by the Supreme Court earlier.

“The impugned orders (of MHA) are in clear and blatant breach of the directions passed by the Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh case as (i) respondent no.2 (Asthana) did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months; (ii) no UPSC panel was formed for appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner; and (iii) the criteria of having a minimum tenure of two years has been ignored,” said the plea filed by Delhi-based advocate Sadre Alam.

It claimed the High-Powered Committee comprising the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition, in its meeting held on May 24, 2021, rejected the Central government’s attempt to appoint the same IPS officer (Asthana) as the CBI Director on the basis of the “six-month rule” as laid down by the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh.

The appointment of Asthana to the post of Commissioner of Police, Delhi must be set aside on the same principle, it said.

A petition with similar prayers has already been filed before the Supreme Court by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation’, urging to direct the central government to produce the July 27 order it issued, approving the inter-cadre deputation of Asthana from Gujarat cadre to AGMUT cadre.

The petition, moved by advocate Prashant Bhushan, has also urged the apex court to set aside the Centre’s order to extend Asthana’s service period.

Another contempt plea in the apex court by advocate M L Sharma has been filed against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for appointing Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner in alleged violation of the judgement in Prakash Singh case.

In his petition, Sharma has said that according to the apex court’s judgement of July 3, 2018, the process of appointment should begin three months prior to the vacancy and the person being appointed must have a reasonable period of service left.

Besides the contempt action, the plea has sought a declaration from the apex court that the appointment of Asthana be held illegal “being contrary to the judgment dated July 3, 2018”.

The top court had issued a slew of directions on police reforms in the country and ordered all states and Union Territories not to appoint any police officer as acting Director General of Police (DGP).

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by The Sen Times staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.
Source: PTI

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