HC dismisses plea challenging Asthana’s appointment as Delhi Police chief

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The Delhi high court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the city police commissioner. A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh pronounced the operative part of the order. A detailed judgment is yet to be released.

On August 25, the Supreme Court asked the high court to decide within two weeks the plea pending before it against the appointment. The bench reserved its order on September 27.

In his plea, lawyer Sadre Alam sought quashing of Union home ministry’s July 27 order appointing Asthana as well as that granting inter-cadre deputation and extension of service to him. The plea contended that a high-powered committee comprising the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister, and the Leader of Opposition, on May 24 rejected the appointment of Asthana as CBI director due to procedural lapses. It added the same rules should apply to the appointment of the Delhi Police commissioner.

NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation also filed an intervention application through advocate Prashant Bhushan, challenging the appointment. The petition was earlier filed in the apex court, which asked Bhushan to approach the high court. Bhushan, during the proceedings, contended that Alam’s petition was a “copy-paste” of his plea.

The Centre justified Asthana’s appointment and told the court that most of the appropriate level of officers of a cadre of officers for Union territories did not have the sufficient balance of experience and policing for an appointment as a top cop of the city.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, contended that filing Public Interest Litigation has spawned into an industry of vested litigation.

Asthana, in his affidavit, told the court there was a sustained social media campaign against him, and the legal challenge to his appointment was an abuse of process of law arising from vendetta.

Courtesy : HT

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