Supreme Court Asks Delhi High Court to Decide Plea Against Appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Delhi Police Commissioner

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The Supreme Court has today directed the Delhi High Court to decide the plea challenging the appointment of IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, as Commissioner of Police, Delhi. 

A three Judges Special Bench of the Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud, and Justice Surya Kant noted, "We'll set a time of two weeks for the High Court to decide the matter."

The plea filed by an NGO, Center for Public Interest Litigation contended that the appointment order is in clear breach of Supreme Court guidelines in the Prakash Singh case.

The plea filed before Delhi High Court (HC) said, "that the impugned orders are in clear and blatant breach of the directions passed by the Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh case as Asthana did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months at the time of his appointment as Commissioner of Police since he was to retire within 4 days. 

Further, no Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) panel was formed for the appointment of the Delhi Police Commissioner, and the criteria of having a minimum tenure of two years have been ignored.

The petitioner has submitted, “the post of Commissioner of Police in Delhi is akin to the post of 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 Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh case (supra) had to be followed by the Central Government while making the impugned appointment. However, the same has been given a complete go-by the Central Government”.

Sr. Adv. Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioner submitted, "I'm requesting your lordships to hear this matter, first he was transferred from Gujarat, 4 days before to UT cadre, Every rule has been flouted, every order of the court is thrown to the vents."

However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that a similar petition is pending before Delhi HC, let the same be decided first.

The bench directed the Delhi High Court to decide the matter within 2 weeks while posting the matter for further hearing after 2 weeks stating, "So that we'll have a benefit of the High Court's order."