Petition Against Appointment Of Gujarat IPS Cadre Rakesh Asthana As Commissioner Of Delhi Filed In Delhi HC

New Delhi: A plea has been filed challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer, Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner and extension of his service by one year.A bench consisting of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh will hear the petition on August 18th, 2021.ALSO READ: Security Of Courts Better Left To States: Centre Tells SC On Demand For National Force To Protect JudgesAccording to a PTI report, the petition has sought to quash of July 27, 2021 order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs appointing Asthana as the Commissioner of Delhi Police and also the order granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service to him. The petition also 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 the 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, the plea quoted by PTI which was filed by Delhi-based advocate Sadre Alam.The plea claims that the High-Powered Committee comprising the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister, and the Leader of Opposition, during a 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.It further stated that Asthana’s to the post of Commissioner of Police, Delhi must be set aside on the same principle. A similar plea had been filed earlier in the Supreme Court by the 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. Moved by advocate Prashant Bhushan the petition has also urged the apex court to set aside the Centre’s order to extend Asthana’s service period.Advocate M L Sharma too filed a contempt plea in the SC against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for appointing Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner in alleged violation of the judgement in the Prakash Singh case, when the top court had issued a slew of directions on police reforms. In his plea, 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.Rakesh Asthana the 1984-batch IPS officer, serving as the director-general of Border Security Force, was appointed Delhi Police Commissioner on July 27, 2021, four days before his superannuation on July 31, 2021. This was “a special case in the public interest” according to the order by the Ministry of Home Affairs.  

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