Published on: 19 August, 2021 at 10:10 IST
The appointment of former CBI official, Rakesh Asthana as Commissioner of Delhi Police, as well as his one-year extension in service, has been challenged in the Delhi High Court.
The petitioner has asked for action, in this case, stating that the Supreme Court’s standards for appointment have been disregarded.
The Union Home Ministry issued the order for Mr. Asthana’s promotion on July 27, only three days before he was set to retire. As a matter of “public interest” the government noted in the ruling, he was awarded a year’s extension in service.
This, opponents alleged, was in contravention of a Supreme Court judgment referenced by Chief Justice NV Ramana during a meeting to choose the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. Asthana, who was also in the running, was disqualified after Chief Justice Ramana, a member of the three-member panel tasked with selecting the CBI director, reportedly cited a Supreme Court ruling that officers with less than six months on the job should not be considered for police chief positions.
The appointment as the Delhi Police Chief was made possible by a “special case” extension in service approved by the Cabinet Appointments Committee, which included Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
A few days later, Delhi Assembly issued a motion opposing the appointment and calling for it to be reversed.
“I think the appointment of Rakesh Asthana is against the order of the Supreme Court. The Central Government must obey the orders of the Supreme Court and make appointments accordingly“, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said.
Pointing to news reports about Mr. Asthana being disqualified from the race for the CBI chief’s post, Kejriwal said, “He was not eligible for that, for the same reason he is not even eligible for this post.”