FPJ Legal: Delhi high court to now hear pleas on Rakesh Asthana's appointment as Delhi Police chief on September 16

ANIUpdated: Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 04:50 PM IST
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Rakesh Asthana |

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court adjourned the hearing on petitions challenging Rakesh Asthana's appointment as police commissioner on Wednesday after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing Centre sought time to file a reply in the matter. On the previous date of hearing the court had issued notices to the Centre and Asthana seeking their responses in the matter.

The Division Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Wednesday deferred the hearing for September 16. Meanwhile, the court also showed displeasure with one petitioner Sadre Alam for not submitting the court process fees.

The petitions sought direction for quashing the order issued by the central government appointing Rakesh Asthana, IPS 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.

Earlier the court has also allowed Advocate Prashant Bhushan's 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 Asthana as Delhi Police commissioner.

During arguments, Bhushan alleged that the other petition of Sadre Alam is a copy-paste and should be dismissed with exemplary costs.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted there was no objection with Prashant Bhushan's plea and requested that he may be impleaded. Another petitioner Sadre Alam should be answerable about why he did what he did on the allegations of copy-paste, Mehta had 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 Sadre Alam through Advocate BS Bagga. It 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.

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