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Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Asthana, Delhi Police in his affidavit before the Supreme Court, in a plea challenging his appointment has stated that the Petitioner NGO & Prashant Bhushan are carrying out personal vengeance against him, hence, it is not bonafide public interest litigation but a flagrant abuse of process and forum.
The petition herein is filed by Center Centre for Public Interest Litigation through Advocate Prashant Bhushan challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana along with a Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the judgment of Delhi High Court upholding his appointment.
Asthana has submitted that "Delhi, being the capital of India, has its own characteristics, peculiar factors, complexities, and sensitivities, which are far lesser in any other Commissionerate."
"Any untoward incident in the National Capital or a law-and-order situation will have far-reaching consequences, impact, repercussions and implications not only in India but across the international borders," the affidavit added.
It has been further submitted that the petitioner is carrying out a personal vendetta against me and is not even remotely in the interest of the general public
In addition to this, it is contended that "it is imperative that “free movement of joints” is given to the Central Government for appointment of Commissioner of Police, Delhi, keeping in mind the complexities obtaining in the Capital."
With regards to the contention raised by the petitioner, Asthana in its affidavit submitted that "the said O.M. dated 08.11.2004 has been partially modified by O.M. dated 28.06.2018 which grants power of relaxation of any of the provisions of the Guidelines stipulated in O.M. dated 08.11.2004 to the Central Government."
Whereas, the same relaxation power has been exercised in the present case in granting Inter-Cadre deputation of Asthana.
Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Union of India submitted that the writ petition cannot be heard as the Delhi High Court has already passed a judgment upholding Asthana's appointment and that a Special Leave Petition (SLP) against the order of the Delhi High Court would lie before the Supreme Court.
Adv. Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioner, however, sought the Court to issue notice in the matter as the petition had been filed before the Supreme Court prior to Delhi High Court deciding the issue.
Bhushan submitted that the Supreme Court had requested the Delhi High Court on August 25 to dispose the petition in a time bound manner, as a result of which the Delhi High Court had passed its judgment on October 12. He further submitted that the petitioners in Delhi High Court had copied his petition verbatim and this forced him to intervene in the petition there.
The bench at this point questioned Bhushan if he was also going to move an SLP challenging the judgment of the Delhi High Court.
Bhushan submitted that he will file the SLP by Monday and that the Court can list the matter subsequently.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the petitioners contended that the writ petition was not maintainable as Delhi High Court has decided the issue.
Case Title: Centre for Public Interest Litigation Vs Union of India
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