Delhi HC junks plea against Asthana's appointment as Delhi Police chief

Delhi HC junks plea against Asthana's appointment as Delhi Police chief
Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana. (Photo: Qamar Sibtain/IANS)

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday junked a petition challenging the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS Officer Rakesh Asthana as the Commissioner of Delhi Police.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh dismissed the petition filed by one Sadre Alam. The bench had reserved the judgment on September 27.

On August 25, the Supreme Court had asked the Delhi High Court to decide the petition challenging the appointment within two weeks. Detailed judgment in the matter will be uploaded later in the day.

Asthana had told the Delhi High Court that the PIL challenging his appointment is either personal vendetta or a proxy war under the cloak of public interest litigation. He contended that there is a sustained social media campaign against him and the plea before the high court was an abuse of process of law. An intervention application filed by NGO 'Centre for Public Interest Litigation' through advocate Prashant Bhushan also challenged Asthana's appointment as the Delhi Police chief.

The Centre had told Delhi High Court that national capital has a specific and special requirement, which witnessed certain untoward and extremely challenging public order problems/riots/crimes having an international implication, therefore the appointment of Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana as Commissioner of Police, Delhi, was made in "public interest".

Justifying Asthana's appointment, the Centre, in an affidavit, said: "Considering the complexities and the sensitivities involved and also considering that no officer of appropriate seniority with balanced experience, was available in the AGMUT Cadre, it was felt that an officer belonging to a large state cadre, who had the exposure of complexities of governance and who had the knowledge of nuances of broad canvas policing is given the charge of Commissioner of Police Delhi".