HC issues notice to Centre on pleas challenging Rakesh Asthana's appointment as Delhi Police chief

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New Delhi [India], September 1 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre on petitions challenging Rakesh Asthana's appointment as Delhi Police chief commissioner.

The petitions also seek direction for quashing the order issued by the Central Government appointing Rakesh Asthana as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and for quashing the order dated July 27, 2021, of the ACC granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service.

The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Jyoti Singh sought response of Central Government through the Ministry of Home Affairs and Rakesh Asthana in the matter and slated the matter for September 8, 2021.

Meanwhile, the court has also allowed Advocate Prashant Bhushan intervention application in the matter.

The Supreme Court had recently asked the Delhi high court to decide within two weeks the petition filed before it challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police commissioner.

During arguments, Bhushan alleged that the other petition of Sadre Alam is a copy-paste and shall be dismissed with exemplary costs. I'll argue in the Supreme Court, my petition is pending there, Prashant Bhushan added.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submits that we have no objection with Adv Prashant Bhushan plea and requested he may be impleaded. Another petitioner Sadre Alam should be answerable to your Lordship why he did what he did on the allegations of copy-paste, Mehta added.

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma and Advocate Amit Mahajan appearing for the central government had opposed the ongoing petition, raising the issue of locus standi of the petitioner.

The ongoing plea was filed by one Sadre Alam through Advocate BS Bagga said that he has filed the petition in public interest invoking the jurisdiction of the Delhi High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for quashing the order issued by the central government appointing Rakesh Asthana, IPS as the Commissioner of Police, Delhi and for quashing the order/communication dated July 27, 2021, of the ACC granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service.

The petition also sought further direction to initiate fresh steps for appointing the Commissioner of Police, Delhi, strictly in accordance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court of India. The petitioner said that the IPS officer was due to retire on his superannuation that is July 31, 2021, but was granted an inter- cadre transfer I deputation to Respondent No.2 from his parent cadre of Gujarat to the AGMUT cadre (cadre for Arunachal Pradesh, Goa Mizoram other Union Territories including Delhi).

"Because impugned orders violate a number of statutory rules and violate the judgment of the Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh vs Union of India regarding the eligibility, procedure for appointment and tenure of police chiefs," the petition said.

"Because the post of Commissioner of Police in Delhi is akin to the post of Director General of Police (DGP) of a State and he is the head of police force for the NCT of Delhi and therefore, the directions concerning the appointment to the post of DGP passed by the Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh case (supra) had to be followed by the central government while making the impugned appointment," it added. (ANI)

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