Pleas driven by vendetta, Rakesh Asthana tells HC

Rakesh Asthana after taking charge as Police Commissioner at the Delhi Police headquarters in the city.  

Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana has informed the Delhi High Court that he was facing a barrage of social media campaigns and selective litigations over his appointment as Delhi Police Commissioner at the behest of some “undisclosed individual/ rival/ interest”.

Mr. Asthana took charge as the Commissioner of Delhi Police on July 28. His appointment, which came just days before his superannuation on July 31, has been contested before the High Court by one Sadre Alam and NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL).

“These petitions are not bona fide public interest litigations (PIL) but are a flagrant abuse of august forum of this court for some hidden personal vendetta of either of them or of someone on whose behest several attempts are being made against me to derail my career,” Mr. Asthana said in an affidavit before the High Court.

Undisclosed reason

Mr. Asthana said the individuals running the NGO has in recent past for “some oblique and ostensible undisclosed reason” have started a barrage of selective actions against him either “out of some vendetta about which I am not aware or at the behest of some individual/ interest”.

The 60-year-old former Director General of Border Security Force (BSF) stated that apart from CPIL, another NGO named Common Cause has been selectively campaigning against him.

People controlling these organisations have spearheaded a malicious campaign, he claimed, adding that this has been regularly happening since he was appointed as Special Director in Central Bureau of Investigation.

This week, the Centre had come in support of Mr. Asthana, saying that his appointment was done in “public interest”, taking into account the Capital’s policing issues, which had both national and cross-border security implications.

CPIL and Mr. Alam, in their separate pleas, have contended that his appointment was “in clear and blatant breach” of the directions of the Supreme Court of India as Mr. Asthana “did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months”, and that no Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) panel was formed for the appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner.

The pleas argued that the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) in appointing Mr. Asthana was “completely illegal on multiple grounds”. The High Court will hear the case on September 20.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 10:12:20 PM |

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