Delhi

Irked HC raps man for plea against Asthana

The Delhi High Court on Thursday came down heavily on a man who had challenged the appointment of IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner saying his petition was a “copy-paste” of another petition filed by NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) on the same issue.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh got particularly irked at the counsel for the petitioner Sadre Alam, as he could not explain certain averments made in the petition.

‘Don’t repeat’

“If you are copying, you do it 5% and write 95% of your own. Here, 97% to 99% is copied even with all the full stops and commas. Don’t do this in the future we have tolerated it this time,” the Bench remarked.

The Bench enquired about the meaning of “Super Time Scale” which was referred to in the petition. Mr. Alam, in his petition, had argued that Mr. Asthana has already reached the “Super Time Scale” in his home cadre, which makes him ineligible to avail inter-cadre deputation.

However, Mr Alam’s counsel was unable to explain the concept and sought time to check and come back.

The HC also told advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the CPIL, “You people are also distributing your copies everywhere. Don’t do this. He [Mr. Alam’s counsel] does not know what super time scale is. You are doing it in good faith but it becomes a weapon. I have asked the question deliberately. What assistance we will get?” The High Court will hear the case again on September 27.

Earlier, defending the appointment of Mr. Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner, the Centre had said that it was done in “public interest” taking into account the Capital’s policing issues which not only had national security but also cross border implications.

The Centre, in an affidavit, had said best attempts were made to find a suitable Indian Police Service (IPS) officer having diverse experience of policing in a vast State or Central Investigating Agency or National Security or Para-military force from the options available in AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Mizoram Union Territories) cadre.

However, AGMUT cadre being a cadre comprising of Union Territory and small north-eastern states, it was felt that requisite experience of working and supervising the central investigating agency/para-military force and police force of a large State having diverse political and law and order problem was lacking in the present pool of available officers, the Centre said.

Mr. Asthana took charge as the Commissioner of Delhi Police on July 28. His appointment came just days before his superannuation on July 31. He will have a tenure of one year.

His appointment has been contested by Mr. Alam who argued that the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) in appointing Mr Asthana for the post was “completely illegal on multiple grounds”.

The CPIL, too, has moved a similar plea before the High Court against the appointment of Mr. Asthana. The NGO is, however, embroiled in a separate issue against Mr. Alam, who it claimed has copied the contents of its petition.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 6:22:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/irked-hc-raps-man-for-plea-against-asthana/article36640502.ece

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