Asthana appointment: HC allows more time for Centre to reply

Rakesh Asthana  

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed more time to the Centre to submit its response to a petition challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh permitted Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s plea for more time. The High Court will hear the case on September 16.

The High Court issued a fresh notice to the IPS officer as it was not served to him due to want of payment of process fee by the petitioner.

Last week, the High Court had allowed an application filed by a non-government organisation, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), seeking to be made a party in the case.  

The CPIL, in its impleadment application, argued that the petition before the High Court filed by Sadre Alam was a “copy-paste” of its plea before the Supreme Court. 

The CPIL has stated that it got to know about the filing of Mr. Alam’s petition before the High Court from media reports and “was surprised to see some of the paragraphs of the writ petition, as quoted by media, to be copy-pasted from the applicant’s writ petition filed before the Supreme Court”.

The NGO claimed that the petition by Mr. Alam “seems to be only to defeat public interest by scuttling the genuine, bonafide and well-researched and deliberated PIL petition filed by the applicant [NGO] before the Supreme Court”. 

The petition filed by Mr. Alam has contended that the 1984-batch IPS officer, serving as the Director General of the Border Security Force, was appointed as Delhi Police Commissioner on July 27, just four days before his superannuation on July 31.

Mr. Alam, in his plea, 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 plea said the appointment was “in clear and blatant breach” of the directions of the Supreme Court as Mr. Asthana “did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months”, and that no Union Public Service Commission panel was formed for the appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner.

The petition argued that the appointment violated the fundamental rule which stipulated that “no government servant shall be granted extension in service beyond the age of retirement of 60 years”. 

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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 3:53:08 AM |

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