Supreme Court directs Delhi High Court to decide plea challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana within 2 weeks

By- Kanvi Gupta

Supreme Court on Wednesday directed Delhi High Court to give their decision within 2 weeks regarding the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the Delhi Police Commissioner. The Court issued this order while considering a writ petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation under Article 32 challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested for granting a period of at least 4 weeks for the High Court to decide the matter but the bench disagreed. A bench of judges Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant gave liberty to the petitioner to intervene in the petition before High Court.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan who is appearing for the CPIL said that the petition filed was the ambush petition which was copy-pasted from CPIL’s petition. Ambush petitions are those petitions which are filed to stop or dismiss the rights of genuine petitioners to come forward and file petitions. The SG submitted that the delay in hearing the petition is harming the fundamental right of the petitioner under Article 32 of the Constitution.

In reply to it, Bhushan submitted that the petitions seeking quo-warranto can be filed under Article 32 and that the Supreme Court has earlier issued directions regarding the appointment of the CVC in a petition filed by the CPIL. Rakesh Asthana is a 1984-batch Gujarat IPS officer who was been given the Delhi Police Commissioner charge recently. The plea was been filed by Advocate Prashant Bhushan that he was been appointed just four days before left for his retirement.

He pleaded that his service term should be extended to one more year. The plea states that the appointment order is in clear and blatant breach of the directions passed by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh case. Asthana also did not have a minimum residual tenure of six months, no UPSC panel was formed for the appointment of Delhi Police Commissioner whose formation is necessary and The criteria of having a minimum tenure of two years was been ignored by the Ministry of Home and Affairs.